DENVER — While corned beef and green rivers are popular St. Patrick’s Day traditions, for many the main focus of the holiday is alcohol. And newly released data suggests that the green beer flows more freely in some parts of the country than others.
Data and heat maps released this week by Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS) show trending for drinking violations by criminal offenders monitored 24/7 for alcohol consumption.
- Arizona, Maryland, Mississippi, Wyoming and Missouri lead in drinking violations on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day (Map A).
- North Carolina, Oklahoma, Nevada, Missouri and Georgia will see some of the biggest spikes on this year’s Tuesday holiday (Map B).
- Some states are predicted to see drinking violations spike 5 times higher than the national average.
Nationally, the data shows an average increase of 12% on a Tuesday St. Patrick’s Day, with a 33% jump this coming Saturday, traditionally the biggest day for DUIs and alcohol-related fatalities each year.
AMS releases holiday-related data each year as part of a more comprehensive awareness campaign about the dangers of binge drinking and drunk driving over major holidays. The majority of individuals monitored by AMS are considered to be high-risk, repeat DUI offenders who knew they were being monitored and that there would be consequences, including incarceration.
“That makes the data especially startling,” says Aaron Fleisher, general manager of SCRAM of Nevada, a company that manages 24/7 alcohol monitoring of offenders throughout Las Vegas and surrounding counties. “Even in a 24/7 alcohol town like Las Vegas, we definitely see spikes in drinking and alcohol-related problems on St. Patrick’s Day,” says Fleisher. “The defendants we monitor have been court-ordered not to drink and know they’ll get caught, so the increase of violations shows how strong the link is between alcohol and St. Patty’s. You can imagine the rate of drinking for those who aren’t being monitored,” he says.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that 40% of all traffic-related fatalities occurring on St. Patrick’s Day weekend result from a drunk driving-related crash. NHTSA is publicizing the data as part of their ongoing Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving awareness campaign. Officials caution that sobriety checkpoints will be prominent on St. Patrick’s Day and the weekend leading up to it, which has become one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk driving.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS)
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) is the world’s leading provider of alcohol testing technologies for the criminal justice industry. The company’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM)technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. In 2013 the company launched the SCRAM Systems® suite of electronic monitoring technologies, which includes SCRAM Remote Breath®, SCRAM GPS™ andSCRAM House Arrest®. AMS employs 156 people worldwide and is a privately held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.
About SCRAM of Nevada
SCRAM of Nevada provides full-service programs throughout the state utilizing continuous alcohol monitoring, drug monitoring, and electronic monitoring (home detention and GPS). SCRAM of Nevada specializes in programming for the Hardcore Drunk Driver, and other alcohol-related and works directly with courts, attorneys, probation departments, Sheriffs, and other agencies. The company is headquartered in Las Vegas.