St. Patrick's Day is no longer just a day for Irish-Americans to honor or celebrate their heritage. Instead, it has become a day for many people to release their inner inhibitions and party hard. This partying usually results in countless numbers of drunk drivers on the road. Police set up checkpoints on this day of the year for this reason. 

I shouldn't have to tell you that drunk driving is dangerous, and yes, "Buzzed driving is drunk driving." According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2016 alone. When a drunk driver gets behind the wheel, they not only put themselves at a huge risk, but also their passengers, other drivers, and any one else who may be around them.

Drunk driving is also a huge financial burden. Not only is there a pretty heavy fine that comes along with a DUI, there is also possible jail time. With that jail time there can be loss of wages or even employment completely. Some cases may even require a lawyer and alcohol education classes. There is one penalty that many people do not consider and that is increased insurance premiums. How long a company surcharge you for a DUI infraction varies from company to company. In most cases a DUI will raise your rates for a minimum of 3 years, but there are some companies that surcharge for as long as 7 years.

According to a 2015 study, just in Atlanta, GA alone, people who have received a DUI can have an increase of an average of $979 per year.

Don't let one day cause you a minimum of 3 years of pain and regret. Here are some ways to avoid a DUI this St. Patrick's Day or any other day. 

  • Use a designated driver -  Most people usually put a lot of planning into their St. Patrick's Day weekend. While plan, decided who is going to stay sober. There should be one friend in the group who will agree to stay sober to make sure no impaired drivers enter the roadways. 
  • Use ride sharing and taxi services - You should never driver after drinking. Even if you don't feel intoxicated. Even if you believe you are just a little "tipsy." You can use taxi, ride-sharing services, public transportation, or try contacting a friend or family member. Depending on your state there are some services that will provide drink drivers with a tow and ride home. There is one is California called "Tipsy Tow."
  • Protect others - We have all seen the commercial, "Friends don't let friends driver drunk." If you see your friend has had a little too much to drink, take their keys. Even if they keep telling you that they are fine and ensure you that they are okay to driver, use your better judgement and take their keys. Remember, their judgement is impaired.

I hope this will help someone this holiday weekend. Remember to be careful. Police are already preparing to set up traffic stops. Don't let one day change your life forever.

If you need any help with insuring your vehicle or have any questions regarding auto increase premiums contact us here at Budget Insurance Agency. We can be reached at 478-788-9188 or online at www.budgetautoquote.comSt Patrick's Day

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