For more than a thousand years the Irish have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day. In more recent times, March 17th has become a day on which everyone becomes Irish and joins in the celebration. St. Louis is no exception. Hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors put on their green and head to either the downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the top in the country, or Dogtown for the Ancient Order of Hiberians’ Parade. If the parades aren’t enough, there are countless celebrations all over town. From corned beef and cabbage to green beer, people indulge and enjoy.
Then, there’s the drive home. The statistics vary depending upon the source, but it seems clear that alcohol was a contributing factor in most fatal crashes that have occurred on St. Patrick’s Day holidays. When the risk increases, enforcement does as well; many cities increase patrol and set up checkpoints. Arrest, hefty fines, and loss of driving privileges are just the beginning of problems that begin with an arrest for driving under the influence.
At Schaefer, we want to encourage you to stay safe. There are so many things you can’t control on the road, we urge you to control what you can. So, remember these tips when celebrating this weekend:
- Plan ahead. Think ahead to where you are going and what you will be doing. Can you stay there until you are safe to drive? Can you plan to have someone pick you up?
- Designate. Talk with your friends. It may be easy to come up with a plan for who is willing to abstain and drive for the evening. Trade off on various holidays.
- Drink responsibly. Never drink on an empty stomach. Pace yourself. Make sure some of your drinks are water only; you’ll make better decisions and you’ll feel much better in the morning.
- Look into local resources. Obviously, there are cabs. In St. Louis, Scooter Guy allows you to make a reservation for a ride. Don’t forget public transportation as well, such as St. Louis Metro Transit.
So, don your green and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day to the fullest. Just don’t rely on luck to get you home safely.