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Increased OWI enforcement for St. Patrick's Day begins now

You may need more than the luck of the Irish to get home safely on St. Patrick's Day. It's one of the biggest nights of the year for drinking, and that means there will be a lot of impaired drivers on the roadways Tuesday -- and also this weekend.

That's why there will be increased OWI enforcement this throughout the state this weekend. That likely means increased staffing, saturation patrols and OWI checkpoints in many areas.

The St. Patrick's Day holiday period can be a deadly one. Last year in Iowa, four people were killed in two crashes over the holiday period. In 2018, 73 people were killed nationwide over this holiday.

Even pedestrians are at risk, and especially if they, too, have been drinking. In 2018, fully one third of pedestrians 16 and older who were killed in traffic crashes had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above.

If you plan to drink this weekend or on Tuesday, do yourself a favor and plan for a safe ride now. That could be:

  • A designated driver who will not be drinking
  • A Lyft or Uber
  • A taxi
  • Public transportation

The reason to plan now is because drinking alcohol or using drugs can impair your judgment, making it more difficult to make a plan. Have everything you need standing by: Download a ride-hailing app, have the appropriate change for the bus, or plan for a sober ride home. Have a backup plan in case your original plan doesn't work out.

If you do make a mistake, don't panic. Instead, call an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. Under certain circumstances, an attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed, or otherwise limit the damage of an OWI arrest.

If you'll be celebrating St. Patrick's Day, enjoy yourself -- safely.

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