Officials: Have a safe St. Patrick’s Day, don’t drive impaired
by Michelle Babcock
March 15, 2014 04:00 AM | 1686 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With many local bars and restaurants gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend, public safety officials said impaired drivers will need a lot more than the luck of the Irish to get out of trouble.

Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said residents should make plans to have a designated driver before festivities begin to ensure they don’t become a danger on the roadways.

“The Cherokee Sheriff’s Office would like to remind residents that will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to be please be responsible,” Baker said Friday. “As always, we encourage people not to drive while impaired and to designate someone to drive before the festivities begin, not after.”

Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan agreed, and said officers would have zero tolerance for people who choose to drive while impaired.

“We urge all to celebrate the holiday responsibly and if there are plans of consuming alcohol, select a designated driver prior to the start of festivities,” she added.

Many local establishments have planned St. Patrick’s Day events for the weekend, offering Irish food and specialty green beer.

The Painted Pig Tavern is playing host to a St. Patrick’s Day party Saturday, complete with corned beef, green beer and shot specials.

Children are welcome until 10 p.m. at The Painted Pig, at 190 East Main St. in Canton, and after 10 p.m., the party is for people 21 years old and up, according to the restaurant.

Donovan’s Irish Cobbler restaurant, at 1025 Rose Creek Drive in Woodstock, will stay open late and offer Irish fare, music and green beer as part of its St. Patrick’s Day party that lasts through Monday.

With live music scheduled Saturday, Sunday and Monday night, Donovan’s Irish Cobbler plans to stay open late each night until 2 a.m.

Guston’s Grille will also celebrate the holiday Saturday, offering a special menu with corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, Reuben sandwiches, leprechaun burger and fish ‘n chips.

Guston’s will have green beer, live music, shot specials and giveaways, according to the restaurant at 12195 Highway 92, Suite 156, in Woodstock.

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwell urged drivers to plan ahead and avoid the temptation to drive impaired.

“We’ve lost far too many people on Georgia’s roads to drunk driving,” Blackwood said. “Don’t be another number on that list this year. Designate a sober driver before you make your first toast.”

Last year, 9,300 alcohol-related wrecks left 161 people dead and 5,644 injured, based on statistics from the Georgia Office of Highway Safety.

TEAM Georgia and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety teamed up this St. Patrick’s Day, and TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel said there is no excuse for driving drunk, especially with the free GOHS smartphone app “Drive Sober, Georgia.”

“Secure a sober, designated driver before your night begins, or simply call a taxi or use GOHS’s smartphone app so you and your party can arrive home safely,” Fennel said.

Georgia’s blood alcohol limit is 0.08, and the state has a zero tolerance policy.

Drivers who are over the legal limit will be arrested, and the GOHS notes law enforcement patrols will be stepped up over the weekend.

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