With St. Patrick’s Day approaching on March 17th, we wanted to share some tips that will keep you safe and help you enjoy the holiday! 

Create a Plan for Getting Home Safely

According to an analysis of alcohol-related fatal crashes published by Orange County injury firm, Callahan & Blaine, March 18th (the morning following St. Patrick’s Day), is the third most deadliest day of the year for alcohol-related car crashes. 35% of all fatal crashes on March 18th between 2015-2019 involved alcohol. Because St. Patrick’s Day is a heavy drinking holiday in the United States, it’s important to have a plan for getting home safely after celebrating at a bar or party. 

  • Have a designated driver or make other arrangements for a ride home if you have been drinking alcohol. It’s easy to plan for an alternate mode of transportation home, like ordering a ride through a rideshare app.
  • As a pedestrian, make sure to be extra cautious and stay alert. Crossing intersections or walking on busy streets while under the influence can also be dangerous.

Stay Hydrated and Eat Food

Staying hydrated and eating food before and while drinking is always a good idea. Eating something that is high in protein is even better!

Watch Your Drink

You should never leave your drink unattended. Even if you aren’t drinking alcohol, someone can easily put something in your beverage unless you see it being prepared or opened. 

Use the Buddy System

Having a friend with you can help both of you stay safe and avoid drunk driving. Never let a friend drive while intoxicated and make sure you have a trusted friend that will do the same for you!

Look for Signs of Drunk Driving

If you will be driving on St. Patrick’s Day, stay extra vigilant and look out for signs of drunk drivers on the road. Signs of impaired driving include:

  • Swerving
  • Erratic braking
  • Inability to stay in the center of the lane
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Tailgating
  • Driving slower than the speed limit
  • Abrupt or illegal turns
  • Sudden stops or delayed starts at traffic signals
  • Quickly decelerating or accelerating 

If you do notice signs of intoxicated driving, report it to the authorities. Pull over to a safe location and call 9-1-1. 

Celebrate at Home

Consider celebrating at home rather than going out to a bar. As the host, you are able to control the flow of alcohol and can celebrate in a safer setting. Another benefit of hosting the party is that you don’t need to drive home and you can help your friends avoid drinking and driving by having a place for them to stay the night if they do drink too much.

Stay Safe and Have Fun

St. Patrick’s Day is most enjoyable when you are having fun and doing so safely. Following the safety tips above is easy to do and can prevent dangerous accidents and even fatalities. Above all, it’s important that you do not drive drunk and that you help others around you do the same.