As St. Patrick's Day approaches, many are preparing for celebrations and festivities with friends, family, and loved ones. However, on any holiday involving alcohol consumption, there is often an inherent risk — especially for those who choose to drive under the influence. Unfortunately, due to the number of drunk drivers, this holiday is one of the most dangerous days to be on the road in the USA.
St. Patrick's Day is an annual holiday that honors the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, and celebrates Irish culture through parades, music, and dance.
Unfortunately, due to drunk driving, St Patrick’s Day can be one of the most dangerous days on the road in America.
Alcohol affects everyone differently and should be consumed responsibly, and in moderation.
The liver can only tolerate and digest around one drink per hour — probably less than you think.
Alcohol and cannabis use can be dangerous if not used safely. If you plan on using alcohol or cannabis during this holiday, follow our special safety tips.
St. Patrick's Day celebration
St. Patrick's Day is a celebration honoring the life of the 5th-century patron saint of Ireland — Saint Patrick. This public holiday originated in the 17th century and honors Irish culture with parades, traditional Irish music and dance, and even festive activities such as wearing green clothes or shamrocks. In modern times, the holiday has become a popular time for friends and family to gather and share good food, drinks, and laughter.
How is St. Patrick’s Day dangerous?
Establishments typically celebrate St. Patrick's Day from March 16th to March 18th. In 2020, the United States Department of Transportation reported during St. Patrick's Day weekend that 36% of fatal motor vehicle accidents during that time involved a drunk driver.
Unfortunately, due to increased drunk driving, St Patrick’s Day has become one of the most dangerous days on the road in America. For this reason, it is important to stay aware of safety tips and strategies for avoiding hazardous situations on this special upcoming holiday.
Effects of alcohol
Most of us like to enjoy a few drinks on the festive occasion of St Patrick's Day, but it is important to remember that alcohol has implications for our safety, health, and well-being. Alcohol affects everyone differently; some drinkers become more talkative and outgoing than usual, or their inhibitions may be reduced, leading them to take risks they wouldn't ordinarily take.
The liver digests alcohol, and on average, it can digest one drink an hour. Of course, other factors can affect the absorption rate, such as tolerance, percentage of body fat, and the kinds of food consumed before drinking.
One drink constitutes:
- One 12-ounce beer with 5% alcohol content by volume.
- 9 ounces of malt liquor.
- 5 ounces of wine.
- 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit, such as vodka, whiskey, or rum.
Safety tips when drinking on St. Patrick's Day
As we gear up to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, it is essential that revelers keep safety in the front of their minds. After all, there's nothing worse than a joyous occasion spoiled by preventable accidents or mishaps.
Here are some tips for having the most enjoyable and safe time possible during your festivities:
- Arrange for a designated driver or take a ride-share.
- Set a drinking limit for yourself.
- Take a break and pace yourself.
- Eat foods that slow alcohol absorption before drinking.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water — one glass per drink.
- Don’t drink with medications that warn not to mix with alcohol.
- Keep your friends accountable for their actions and how much they drink.
Tips for safe cannabis use on St. Patrick's Day
If recreational cannabis is legal in your state, you may participate in its use on St. Patrick’s Day. Using cannabis can give you feelings of pleasantry or euphoria. However, it can slow reaction times and make it harder for you to focus and think properly, increasing the chances of accidents. According to U.S. News, motor vehicle accidents increased by 6%, and fatal accidents increased by 4% after the legalization of marijuana.
If you are joining in on this holiday by consuming cannabis, prioritize safety by following a few simple tips:
- Buy your cannabis legally.
- Know your limit.
- Don't combine cannabis and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Take a break and pace yourself.
- Arrange for a designated driver or ride-share.
- Keep your friends accountable for their actions and how much they use.
How to help someone intoxicated on St. Patrick's Day
On St. Patrick's Day, it is important to keep an eye out for intoxicated friends or family members. Although many look forward to this holiday as a time of celebration and partying, it is essential that everyone stays safe.
If you notice someone has had too much to drink, make sure they take a cab or other ride-share service home to avoid confusion and accidents due to drunk driving. Additionally, offer them food and non-alcoholic beverages to help stabilize their blood alcohol content.
Wear plenty of green and have a great time this St. Patrick's Day. While enjoying yourself, remember some of the tips we've discussed, can help prevent a fun day from turning tragic.
- History.com. History of St. Patrick’s Day.
- United States Department of Transportation. Don’t Test Your Luck This St. Patrick’s Day.
- American Addiction Centers. How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System?
- Harvard Health Publishing. If you use cannabis, do it safely.
- Web MD. How Marijuana Affects Your Body.