Oh, the wearin’ o’ the
green. Even if you’re not Irish, St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun day to
celebrate with friends and family, especially with the start of today’s
Whether your plans include attending
a parade, festival, going to a friend’s house, celebrating at a local bar or hosting
a party, I want to remind everyone to designate a sober driver before alcohol is
According to the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, alcohol-impaired crashes claimed a
life every 53 minutes in 2011. On St. Patrick’s Day alone, more than a third of
fatalities from motor vehicle crashes – 34 percent – were connected to drunk driving.
The national average for alcohol impaired fatalities in that year was 31
Please consider the following
tips before making your St. Patrick Day plans:
• Designate a sober driver or
have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
• If you don’t have a
designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or
family member to come and get you; or just stay where you are and don’t drive until
you are sober.
• Never let a friend drive drunk.
Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
• Don’t ride in a vehicle
with a driver who is intoxicated.
• Always buckle up. It’s still
your best defense against drunk drivers.
If you are hosting a party:
• Make sure all guests
designate sober drivers in advance or help arrange alternate transportation.
• Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic
beverages at the party.
• Stop serving alcohol a few hours
before the end of the party and begin serving coffee and dessert.
• Keep the phone number of
local cab companies available and take the keys away from anyone who is
thinking of driving drunk and get them a cab ride home.
According to the NHTSA website:
• A person can be held liable
and prosecuted if someone he or she served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
• If an underage person drinks
and drives, parents may be held liable for any damage, injury or death caused
by the underage driver.
• Parents or other adults who
provide alcohol to or host a party where alcohol is available to those under
age 21 could face jail time.
TAKE THE RILEY RIDE
Soldiers and dependents on post
also can take Riley Ride, a shuttle service between Fort Riley and Manhattan,
which operates from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
The Riley Ride bus picks passengers
up at several locations on post, like barracks buildings and common areas, including
the Warrior Zone and Custer Hill Bowling Center. The Manhattan stop is located
at 12th Street and Bluemont Ave.
Soldiers and dependents can
purchase tickets on the bus or at the Leisure Travel Center. Tickets cost $5
for two rides or $10 for five rides, and must be paid in cash.
A noncommissioned officer is
stationed on the bus throughout the night to verify the eligibility of
passengers, maintain order and ensure the safety of its passengers, as well as
others on the road.
For a full schedule of
Riley Ride stops and times, visit www.rileymwr.com/itr.
For more information about
Riley Ride, call the Leisure Travel Center, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday,
As with any weekend, the Fort
Riley Police Department will have a presence on the installation to monitor for
safety on the roads. For Soldiers, getting a DUI also involves their chain of
command, which can affect their career.
So my advice to you is: Do not
drive impaired and risk a driving under the influence charge – or worse injuring
yourself or others.
If you would like to comment on this article or
suggest a topic for Community Corner, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fortrileygc.