As we begin the ceremonies and festivities of the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol shares some safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). By utilizing these tips, you can enjoy a safe holiday without jeopardizing lives on the road.

• Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins (ask a friend or family member, call a taxi, or use Uber or Lyft). In other words, HAVE A PLAN. • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home. • Always buckle up. It's your best defense against drunk drivers.

If you’re hosting a party: • Make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers in advance. • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party. • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food. • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a ride home. • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

Please do your part by never driving impaired, putting away distractions, slowing down and always buckling up.