NSP shares tips for St. Patrick's Day safety
NEBRASKA -- St. Patrick's Day is this Friday and the festivities will be celebrated all throughout the state of Nebraska.
While many will enjoy the day with a green beer and a plate of corned beef, St. Patrick's Day is also one of the deadliest holidays nationwide.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 287 lives were lost in drunk driving crashes from 2016-2020 during the holiday.
"We see an increased amount of people that are using alcohol during the holiday and a lot of times they will drive and possibly cause accidents," said Lt. Paul Hagen of the Nebraska State Patrol. "So, we like to increase our enforcement efforts during that time period."
The NSP received 200 hours of overtime through a grant to patrol roadways on Friday.
Hagen said that the NSP sees an increase in alcohol-related crimes in towns and cities that celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
He said the best way to ensure safety is to plan the night ahead.
"If you are going to consume alcoholic beverages, just make sure you have a designated driver or maybe you're just going to stay at home and celebrate during that time period," Hagen said. "Otherwise, there are a lot of options out there whether it be a shuttle service, whether you call a cab or an uber."
In 2022, the NSP made eight DUI arrests on St. Patrick's Day.
Those arrested for DUI face jail time, fines and can lose their driver's license.
Hagen had a final message for motorists.
"People that consume alcoholic beverages, there is an impairment that goes along with that and during that impairment, it slows down your response time, it slows down your ability to safely drive, to perceive people pulling out from other intersections," he said. "Not only are you a danger to yourself, possibly getting into an accident and harming yourself, but you could seriously injure or kill someone else."