Stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day weekend - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day weekend

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(WTVM) -

Leprechauns, pots of gold, beads, parties and alcohol are just a few things that define St. Patrick's Day for many young partygoers.

Unfortunately, driving sometimes ends up in the mix.

Between 2006 and 2011 there were over 700 fatalities nationwide on St. Patrick's Day and over 40 percent of those were due to alcohol.

We caught up with Harris Blackwood, the director of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, who gives one reason why drinking and driving is not worth it.

"St. Patrick's Day is a holiday that is often associated with luck - and there's no amount of luck, no amount of four leaf clovers, no kissing the blarney stone that's going to get you out of a DUI, and it's going to cost you a pot of gold," said Blackwood.

Not only could it cost you a fortune, it could cost you a life.

That is why Rob Folk and the Columbus Downtown Nightlife Association is working hard to make sure there is no need to drink and drive this weekend.

"St .Patrick's Day is one of those nights where you have a lot of people that don't normally come out, will come out, so we will have extra police downtown," said Folk. "We've spoken with the cab companies we'll have more cabs available."

In an effort to eliminate driving under the influence, the office of Highway Safety is distributing coasters all over bars around Columbus with a bar code on them.

All you have to do is scan it with your smartphone and it will instantly give you information on where to get a free ride home.

The Drive Sober Georgia app does the same thing and is available on the iPhone and Android.

If you have to, make other arrangements or designate a driver. It is not worth risking your life.

"People are going to party and have a good time and we're not trying to discourage the party - we're just trying to get them home safely," Blackwood said.

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