The National Retail Federation reports about half of the U.S. population celebrates St. Patrick’s Day each year. The popular holiday, which is famous for wearing green, decorating with shamrocks and drinking green beer, can be fun if everyone celebrates responsibly. Take precautions and learn some safety tips before the festivities begin.
- Attending a Celebration
About one-third of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at a bar or restaurant, on average. Consider the following before going out this year, and remember it only takes one drink to impair driving.
- Before attending any festivities, choose a designated driver, who is responsible for driving a group of friends home.
- If someone is attempting to drive drunk, stop the person and call a family member, friend or service to take the person.
- Pace alcoholic drinks throughout the night, and consume a glass of water between every drink.
- Attend with a group of trusted friends who will have each other’s best interests in mind.
- Never leave drinks alone or accept a drink from a stranger, to help prevent the chance of consuming a drugged beverage.
- Never ride in a car with a drunk driver.
- Consume a large meal before drinking any alcohol, and eat when drinking because it will help reduce hangover symptoms.
- Call law enforcement immediately after seeing someone intoxicated driving.
- Hosting a Celebration
Hosting a holiday gathering means finding ideas for guests to enjoy the time together, and also providing ways to keep them safe. Plan ahead with these tips.
- If alcohol will be had, collect car keys from guests when they enter the home, and have a designated person keep care of them to make sure no one who is intoxicated can drive away.
- Offer guests the ability to stay the night.
- Have a large variety of non-alcoholic refreshments available.
- Consider placing a limit on how many alcoholic drinks guests can consume.
- Keep an eye on children and pets to prevent them from ingesting alcohol.
- Remove any shamrocks, which are poisonous to animals, from within reach of pets.
- Alcohol Poisoning Signs and Symptoms
Alcohol poisoning can be deadly. Symptoms and warning signs of alcohol poisoning vary based on a person’s sex, age, health, diet and how much alcohol was consumed. Keep an eye out for the following and call 911 immediately if someone who was drinking alcohol experiences these symptoms:
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue-tinged or pale skin
- Unconsciousness (and cannot be woken up)
Drunk Driving (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
Keep Pets Safe on St. Patrick's Day (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
St. Patrick's Day: Drive Sober (Indiana Department of Transportation)
Understanding the Dangers of Alcohol Overdose (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)