Sobering stats about drinking and driving on St. Patrick's Day



PITTSBURGH - It’s going to be a big party weekend across the city of Pittsburgh, but authorities are warning not to party too hard and get behind the wheel.

Police said Friday they intend to patrol in force over the weekend in an effort to cut down the dangers that come with this celebration.

Many people think they’re being responsible by having only “one drink,” but the size of the pour may not match what is acceptable for your weight and metabolism.

“Five ounces of table wine, 12 ounces of beer or an ounce and a half of 80-proof alcohol. Now, no one would be happy if a glass this size came out with that much wine in it,” said Cathy Tress of the PA DUI Association.

Authorities said officers will be keeping a close eye out for anyone drinking and then getting behind the wheel.

“There will be additional officers out for the parade, and on the South Side and the North Shore,” Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Scott Schubert said.

Police said they’re not just looking for alcohol abusers.

“You can’t drive when you’re on heroin. You can’t smoke marijuana and go for a drive. You can’t do it,” West Hills DUI Task Force Sgt. Douglas Ogden said.

Another warning from police is that drinking coffee, taking a cold shower and then a nap doesn’t qualify as a quick sober-up.

“I got him at 4 o’clock in the morning. He was drunk, still over 1.0. You need more time than that,” Ogden said.

According to police, the safest way to get home is to take a cab, catch the bus or designate a sober driver.

“On St. Patrick’s Day alone, over the past five years, there have been 203 alcohol-related crashes. Four of them have been fatalities,” Ogden said.

Allegheny County has had more St. Patrick’s Day drunk driving crashes than any other county in the state, officials said.