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

Stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day weekend

(WTVM) -

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

Unfortunately, drivingsometimes ends up in the mix.

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

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

"St. Patrick's Day isa 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 toget you out of a DUI, and it's going to cost you a pot of gold," saidBlackwood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"People are going to party and have a good time and we're nottrying to discourage the party - we're just trying to get them home safely,"Blackwood said.

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