St. Patrick’s Day may not be until Tuesday, but many of the holiday festivities start this weekend. There are many opportunities and ways to go out in green and have fun to celebrate this Irish Heritage holiday, but keep in mind that this is also a holiday heavy in alcohol. For this reason, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind.
– Before you even go out, plan your way home. Whether this is planning for someone to pick you up, making a decision to get a cab, setting up a plan to stay somewhere overnight, or getting a Designated Driver, this is an important step in ensuring that your night ends safely.
– Have contact numbers for local taxis, and/or a map of the bus routes. Sometimes you can plan ahead to have a designated driver, but things fall through, or if you’re the driver, you make a bad decision and start to drink. If this is the case, don’t risk it and drive anyway. There are plenty of other forms of transportation.
– Don’t leave your cups unattended. You never know who could have touched your drink, or what could have happened to your drink while you were gone. If you’re going to the bathroom, finish your drink before you go.
– Create a buddy system. Find someone to stick with for the night, and don’t wander off alone. If you’re drinking, you’re not thinking clearly, and unfortunately there are a lot of untrustworthy strangers out there. It’s not worth the risk.
– Eat and stay hydrated. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Consume water in between your alcoholic drinks. If you’re throwing your own party, make sure there is plenty of food, and non-alcoholic drinks for guests to enjoy.
– If you’re throwing your own party, be responsible! Take your guest’s keys as they come in the door, and have numbers for cab companies, emergency contacts, and poison control on hand. Hopefully you won’t need to use them, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be prepared to let people stay at your house if need be. A night with a full house is a much better trade off than a drunk driving accident caused by someone at your party. You could be held liable. Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the party ends and start serving other drinks such as coffee.
– Be aware of your surroundings at the party and on the roads. While celebrating, make sure you know where you can get help if necessary. Don’t bring valuables to any parties with you. If you’re the designated driver, look out for stray walkers and other drivers who aren’t playing it as safe as you are. Drunk pedestrians aren’t going to pay attention to road signs, signals, or crosswalks. If you see a drunk person about to get behind the wheel, stop them, take their keys, and arrange for a different ride home for them. If you see a drunk driver, report to the police immediately. You could save a life.
St. Patrick’s Day can be quite a fun night, but you should always be responsible. The real pot of gold at the end of the night is making it home safely.