Patrols increase ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, one of the deadliest holidays for drivers

NORTH CAROLINA — Law enforcement agencies are ramping up their efforts as St. Patrick’s Day, one of the deadliest holidays in the U.S., approaches.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there were 225 alcohol-related crashes that resulted in 11 deaths during this same time last year in North Carolina.

That’s why now through Sunday, law enforcement agencies are stepping up patrols for their Booze It and Lose It campaign for St. Patrick’s Day. At a time when deadly crashes are up 20% North Carolina, data shows that cracking down on drunk driving is imperative.

NCDOT’s latest numbers shows there were 780 alcohol-related crashes in Charlotte in 2020 that killed 49 people and severely injured 700. It’s a sobering number that also comes with severe consequences.

According to Quote Wizard, which provides and analyzes insurance data, it can cost you big.

“We essentially found that if you get a DUI on your record, you can expect pay a lot more on your insurance for years,” said Nick VinZant with Quote Wizard and Lending Tree.

You’ll pay up to 80% more on your car insurance for three to five years -- if your driving record remains clean. In North Carolina, you can expect it to stay on your driving record for seven years.

After all is said and done -- bail, towing and impound, insurance costs, lawyers and court fines -- a DUI could cost you around $10,000 on average. But even if you’ve not been directly involved in any alcohol-related crashes, it can still cost you.

“It ultimately raises everybody’s insurance,” VinZant said. “If there is a large number of fatal crashes in that area, if there’s a large number of DUIs, then insurance companies will adjust how much they are charging based on that location.”

But there is some good news.

“The number of DUIs has gone down as there has been more enforcement, greater awareness, and the rise of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft,” VinZant said.

AAA is offering their “Tow to Go” for St. Patrick’s Day. From 6 p.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Monday, free rides will be available in the Charlotte area. You can get full details by clicking here.

(WATCH BELOW: The History Of St. Patrick’s Day)