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     If you plan to get behind the wheel after too much celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has some simple and sage advice for you:  “Don’t do it!”.  Sheriff’s deputies and other officers will be out in force throughout the day and night in a highly visible enforcement campaign to crack down on revelers who are driving drunk. 

     We encourage everyone who plans to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year with alcohol to keep in mind our anti-drunk-driving campaign slogan, “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving”.  If you’ve had too much to drink, make sure you can rely on a sober, designated driver to get you home safely or contact D-Dots’ sober ride program at (870) 656-4444. 

     According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37 percent of the motor vehicle traffic fatalities during St. Patrick’s Day 2009 involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol content of .08 grams per deciliter or above, the legal level of intoxication established by every state in the union.   

     During St. Patrick’s Day 2009, there were 103 fatal crashes.  Of that number, 39 people were killed in traffic crashes involving at least one driver or motorcyclist with a BAC of .08% of higher. 

     The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office recommends the following easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day: 

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
  • Consider using the community’s sober ride program, D-Dots at (870) 656-4444.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely. 

     Anyone having questions or needing more information should contact Sgt. Andy Bower, (870) 425-7000 or 

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff