Saint Patrick’s Day is a time-honored American tradition that celebrates our country’s Irish heritage with festive parades, vibrant green costumes, and—of course—lots and lots of drinking.
Like far too many American holidays, Saint Patrick’s Day has become synonymous with excessive alcohol consumption, creating a risk for drivers, pedestrians, partygoers, and families alike. Every Saint Patrick’s Day, hundreds of Americans are sent to the emergency room due to drunk driving accidents and other alcohol-related injuries. Over past years, there have been hundreds of fatalities on Saint Patrick’s Day, a large percentage of which involve alcohol-impaired drivers.
To ensure your Saint Patrick’s celebration is fun, memorable, and injury-free, we’ve compiled a list of tips for keeping you and your family out of harm’s way this St. Paddy’s Day.
Crowd safety. In Florida, bars and party venues can get pretty crowded on Saint Patrick’s Day. If you are planning on going out to a bar or attending a party, leave your valuables at home. Keep an eye on your drinks, and never accept a drink that hasn’t been poured in front of you.
Parade safety. If your town has a parade, brief your children on safety rules before heading out into the loud, crowded parade area. Set a meeting point to head to if anyone gets lost, and remind them they should talk to police officers if they need help—not strangers.
Drinking safety. If you do indulge in alcohol on Saint Patrick’s Day, make sure you remember to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Never drink on an empty stomach, which is a sure way to become dangerously intoxicated very quickly.
Driving safety. If you know will be drinking this Saint Patrick’s Day, make sure you have a safe method of getting home. This could mean bringing along a designated driver, arranging a cab or ride share, or staying at a friend’s house. Don’t get behind the wheel if you feel even the slightest bit impaired—not only is it risky, but Florida cops are coming down hard on drunk driving this Saint Patrick’s Day. Nothing would ruin your celebrations like a DUI, so it’s a good idea to play it safe.
Watch out for your buddies. Not everyone around you will be as responsible and prepared as you are, so it’s important to look out for your friends and people you know. If you notice someone about to get being the wheel after having a few to many, don’t be afraid to take their keys and assist them in finding other arrangements to reach their destination safely.
Extra precautions. Even if you are completely sober, you can count on many of the drivers and pedestrians around you being drunk. Whether you are walking or driving, keep an eye out for drunk drivers and drunk pedestrians, who are much more likely to act recklessly and ignore crosswalks and traffic signals.
Saint Patrick’s Day is one of our nation’s favorite holidays, with some of our most treasured traditions and unforgettable celebrations. But even the most spirited holiday celebrations will come to a screeching halt after someone becomes seriously injured. This Saint Patrick’s Day, have fun, but remember to take extra care of yourself, your family, and your friends.
And if you or someone you love is injured on Saint Patrick’s Day due to another’s irresponsible choices, contact a top Florida personal injury attorney. An expert lawyer will be able to help you hold the negligent party accountable for their actions, and assist you in recovering damages for medical bills, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering, while sending a message to others that this type of behavior isn’t acceptable in our society.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.