In the Altoona area, many people may choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day by having an Irish meal and sharing a few drinks with friends and family.
While there is nothing legally wrong with this per se, it is imperative that if Pennsylvanians do choose to drink on March 17, they do so responsibly. They must not get behind the wheel if they are too drunk to operate a vehicle safely, as doing so can lead to serious or even deadly car accidents.
Unfortunately, many people seem to forget about this simple matter of safety and courtesy. For instance, Pennsylvania law enforcement is planning a DUI crackdown over the holiday, and, judging by the statistics, it is pretty easy to see why.
According to one report, over half of all young men, between 21 and 34, who died in a car accident over St. Patrick's Day died because someone chose to drive while impaired. Likewise, at least as of 2017, over half of all crashes that happened at nighttime on the holiday were attributed to impaired driving.
While not all of these accidents involved serious injuries or fatalities, some most certainly did. It is no wonder that St. Patrick's Day is getting a reputation for being a very dangerous time to travel, up there with New Year's and other holidays associated with heavy drinking.
A victim of a drunk driving accident, or the victim's family, will likely face serious financial consequences in addition to dealing with the shock of losing a loved one in such tragic, and avoidable, circumstances. Victims may be able to receive compensation for their losses via an appropriate lawsuit.