It’s almost March 17, the day millions of Americans celebrate their Irish roots (or anyone else’s Irish roots – any excuse to party, right?) by wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage, and drinking green beer.
While St. Patrick’s Day is a very festive day associated with cheer and fun festivities, it’s a day known for filling the pubs and drinking to excess. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2009 and 2013 there were 279 fatal car accidents caused by drunk drivers on St. Patrick’s Day. (source: Allstate)
But before we delve into our St. Patrick’s Day Safety Tips, let’s learn some fun facts about this festive green holiday, courtesy of Mental Floss:
Did You Know…
- In the year 432, Saint Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.
- St. Patrick’s Day was initially considered a strictly religious holiday and so the nation’s pubs were closed on March 17. In 1970, it became a national holiday in Ireland, and drinking became resumed as part of the celebration.
- Saint Patrick was actually British, not Irish.
- Saint Patrick’s color was a light blue, not green. Green became the color of St. Patrick’s Day after it was linked to the Irish Independence movement in the late 1700s.
- According to legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland.
- A 2012 estimate said the total amount spent on beer for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations worldwide is $245 million.
- The proper abbreviation is St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. The Ds are because it comes from the word Pádraig (the Gaelic word for St. Patrick), not the English word Patrick.
And now that we’ve learned something new, let’s move on.
St. Patrick’s Day Safety Tips
If you’re planning on celebrating St. Paddy’s Day this year, please keep yourself safe by following these safety precautions:
- If you are under 21, do not drink. It’s illegal and it’s stupid.
- Regardless of what age you are, if you are drinking, do NOT drive.
- Plan a ride home from Uber, Lyft, or a taxi cab.
- Be careful relying on friends to drive, especially if they’re “just going to have one or two drinks and then stop.” You can’t always count on that. And if you’re drinking, your judgment is impaired (whether you think it is or not), so plan all this out ahead of time.
- Better yet, stay home or at a friends’ house rather than going out.
- If you do go out – ladies, do not leave your drink unattended and do not accept an opened drink from someone else that you didn’t see being prepared by the bartender.
- Eat. Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- If you haven’t been drinking, but you are driving, drive cautiously, defensively, and very alert. Many others on the roads probably have been drinking.
- Call the police if you see any drivers on the road you suspect are drunk.
Be careful and have fun. Luck o’ the Irish to you!