Planning ahead won’t kill you

Mark Ahling and Mark Ahling

Free rides from participating bars on St. Patrick’s Day

The luck of the Irish only goes so far. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday celebrated with corned beef, cabbage, and, most notably, green beer. But along with consuming your shamrock’s worth inevitably comes the question of how you will get home.

You will probably be suppressed to find out that every 53 minutes, somebody is killed by a drunk driver, and every 90 minutes, somebody is injured from an alcohol related event. In 2011, drunk drivers in the U.S. killed 9,878 people over holidays.

If the leprechaun in you is itching to get out this St. Patrick’s Day, there are alternative ways to arrive home safely.

Vince Koll operates a non-profit business in Sacramento that will drive you and your vehicle home if you have had too much green beer. The service is free as long as you are calling from one of the bars or restaurants that participate in the program. You will not be charged within a 10-mile radius.

“The cost for a DUI by the time you get done with insurance and court costs, you’re looking at about $10,000,” said Koll. “And if you should get in an accident or anything else, you’re looking at some jail time. So it’s just not worth it… the average cost to get your car home, if you don’t go to a sponsored bar, is about $30-$35.”

AAA: Tipsy Tow Program offers the same free service for both members and non-members. The AAA website claims 20 percent of all motorists in the past year have driven a motor vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol. It takes only one or two drinks to impair vision, steering, braking, judgment, and reaction time, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Association.

A representative of the Highway patrol, contacted by phone, stated that added patrols and checkpoints would be around to make sure the streets are safe, and that the percentage of people planning ahead on holidays, such as St Patrick’s Day, are on the rise.

With no students on campus on Sunday, March 17, Los Rios Police Department expects no problems at the American River Campus.