Savannah may have the market cornered on wild and crazy St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but rest assured, there will be plenty of celebrating in the Golden Isles as well.

Many of those celebrations will include alcohol, and in some cases, lots of it. Especially considering St. Patrick’s Day is on a Friday this year, when many people do not have to worry about working the next day.

Regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed, we urge Golden Isles residents to avoid drinking and driving at all costs. Make plans to stay with a friend. Call a taxi or an Uber to pick you up. Even better, walk to the neighborhood party and eliminate the driving option altogether.

According to a report by CBS News in December 2016, about 28 people a day died in the U.S. last year in DUI related crashes.

Additionally, between 2011 and 2014, 266 people died in car crashes during the weekends of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Everyone deserves to let loose from time to time and to celebrate how they wish. St. Patrick’s Day offers that opportunity for many people, but all should remember the dangers that driving drunk, or even buzzed, presents.

Local law enforcement agencies are well aware of those dangers and will be on the hunt Friday for anyone who may be putting themselves and others in harm’s way.

Even if you drive after drinking and do not crash, you very well may get pulled over and get slapped with a DUI, which can jeopardize employment status, cost a lot of money and go on your record for a very long time.

Remember this weekend that having fun with friends and a few drinks is something you hope to do again, so don’t take any unnecessary chances. We don’t want someone in the Golden Isles to add to the statistics that will be dredged up again and again during future holiday celebrations.

As the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety put it in a Tweet this week, “Don’t rely on the luck of the Irish, designate a sober driver.”

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