Whether you're truly Irish or not, St. Patrick's Day has become one of the nation's biggest times to celebrate. It can also be one of the most dangerous holidays as people too often take to the roads after drinking.

St. Patrick's Day falls on Sunday this year, and law enforcement agencies in Natrona County are joining together to help keep the roads safe over the entire holiday weekend.

In 2017 alone, 59 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes nationwide over the holiday period from 6:00 p.m. March 16th to 5:59 a.m. March 18th. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers during that time.

“The Casper Police Department continues our commitment with our partner agencies in Natrona County, in regards to the safety of our community during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. We have authorized overtime for a large amount of officers to seek out, and find, people who are driving under the influence,” said Sgt. Jeff Bullard of the Casper Police Department. “Do your part, and call 9-1-1 to report any suspected drunk driver.”

Natrona County law enforcement recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving:

  • Remember that it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, available on Google Play for Android devices  and Apple’s iTunes Store for iOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Ask your server about Safe Ride.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact law enforcement immediately. Call 9-1-1.
  • If you have a friend who is about to drink and drive, take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

More From AM 1400 The Cowboy