Tragically, March 17 has become a dangerous holiday on our nation’s roads. Area police departments will be on the lookout for drunk drivers on the roads over the St. Patrick's Day Holiday weekend.

Tragically, March 17 has become a dangerous holiday on our nation’s roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, almost two-thirds (39 percent) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

The early hours of March 18 didn’t fare much better. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly three-fourths (69 percent) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

In fact, from 2012 to 2016, almost two-fifths (38 percent) of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) well above the .08 limit, with 269 drunk-driving fatalities total. That’s why Joplin Police Department, along with the Southwest Missouri DWI taskforce, will conduct DWI enforcement this upcoming weekend.

Consequences of impaired driving include jail time, loss of driver licenses, and being required to have an ignition interlock installed. Insurance rates go up.

Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.

The Joplin Police Department wants all drivers to realize that driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences.