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Don’t Rely On The Luck Of The Irish To Get Home Safely

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day — And Please Celebrate Responsibly!

St. Patrick’s Day has slowly evolved from a day in which Irish-Americans celebrate their heritage, to a day where over 50%[1] of Americans revel.

Originally, the holiday was made an official Christian Feast Day in the early 17th century to honor St. Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland.[2]  In addition to commemorating Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, the day celebrates the heritage and culture of the Irish in general.[3]  Celebrations in Ireland usually involve parades, family dinners, wearing green clothing or shamrocks, and attending church services.[4]  The shamrock is worn because Saint Patrick used the three-leaved plant to explain the holy trinity.[5]  Additionally, lent restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol were lifted for the day, which many believe has propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.[6]

Along with the drinking restrictions being lifted, academics theorize that the progression from a religious holiday, to a day of excess alcohol consumption, arises from the commercialization of the ritual calendar as well as discrimination of Irish-Americans subsiding.[7] For example, historically many Irish-Americans celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day in order to reaffirm their Irish identities, however, after discrimination subsided in the 20th century, Irish communities used the holiday as a social festival in which included people that did not have Irish descent.

The evolution has created a day in America that ranks among the calendar’s most popular drinking days, behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Fourth of July.[8]  However, along with the celebrations come the consequences of excessive drinking-namely more drunk drivers on the roads. For example, on St. Patrick’s Day in 2015, a life was claimed every 46 minutes due to drunk driving,[9] with 75% of the drivers being two-times over the legal limit.[10]

The Lamber Goodnow legal team suggests planning ahead in order to enjoy the festivities, as well as to keep yourself, and your loved ones, safe.

The following are ways to minimize or eliminate your risk of liability or injury this holiday:

  • Before going to the bars or a party make sure there is a designated driver
  • While celebrating, moderate your drinking and alternate between water and alcohol
  • Do not ride with a drunk driver or drive yourself (if you have been drinking) under any circumstances
  • Buckle your seat belt
  • If you do not have a designated driver, designate a certain amount of money to only be used for a ride share service home.

The average American will drive fourteen miles to their favorite bar.[11] With a ride share service that can seat four passengers costing around 25-30 dollars for a fourteen-mile trip, this would mean that each passenger would have to save less than ten dollars to get home safely. To put this into perspective, you could save your life (and your finances if you are found liable for driving drunk) for an average of two Guinness’s or three jars of sauerkraut.

So, as Americans plan which green clothes to wear, and which green beer is the best, they should not rely on the ‘Luck of the Irish’ with their plans on getting home safely-plan, prepare and save money for a ride home-it could spare other’s lives as well as your own.

 

[1]  John Kiernan, St. Patrick’s Day by the Numbers, Wallethub, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-hassett/after-i-do_b_8332934.html.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick’s_Day

[3]  Id.

[4]  Id.

[5]  Id.

[6]  Id.

[7] John Kiernan, St. Patrick’s Day by the Numbers, Wallethub, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendy-hassett/after-i-do_b_8332934.html.

[8]  Id.

[9]  Id.

[10]  Id.

[11]  Ross Marchant, Consumers will travel 17 mins to reach a local business, BrightLocal (May, 1, 2014), https://www.brightlocal.com/2014/05/01/local-business-travel-times/.

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