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Don’t Test Your Luck by Driving Drunk St. Patrick’s Day

Date: 02.28.2012
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (330) 375-3052

AKRON, Feb. 28, 2012 – St. Patrick’s Day is a popular holiday for bar hopping, parade going, and throwing a party at home, but pressure to overindulge can lead to dangerous roadways.

On Saturday, March 17, whether you are enjoying a fun night at home with friends or heading out for green beer, be aware that buzzed driving is still drunk driving. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were two traffic-related fatalities in Summit County in January. In January 2011, there were no traffic-related fatalities.

Summa Health System’s Rebecca Wise, Summit County Safe Communities Grant Coordinator and Safe Teens Coalition Leader-Ohio Chapter, shares several helpful tips from the NHTSA for having a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Designate a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • If you are planning on drinking, leave your keys at home.
  • Access a local sober ride program for a ride home.
  • If you do see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call the police and report it. That call could help save lives.
  • Remember that if you are with someone who is trying to drive or ride with someone impaired, take his or her keys and help the person make other arrangements for transportation or lodging.

Impaired driving has more risks than just death and injury, including the financial costs of a crash and even jail time. Drunk drivers also face losing their driver’s license, receiving higher insurance rates, and incurring other unanticipated expenses.

For more tips on safe driving this St. Patrick’s Day, visit

New safety feature from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles
The next time you renew your license at the local BMV, ask about the new emergency contact feature. Two emergency contacts can be added to the back of an Ohio driver’s license in-person or online at In case of an emergency where you are unable to communicate, first responders can use the information to reach the important people in your life.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at