5 Ways to Avoid Drinking and Driving on St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and soon it will be time to celebrate all that is green, Irish, and beer-related. Just remember that after a night of celebrating with your friends, it’s never okay to get behind the wheel of a vehicle — even if you’ve just had one or two drinks. The US Department of Transportation reports that in 2015 alone, there were 30 people killed in alcohol-related accidents around St. Patrick’s Day. Nowadays, DUI consequences everywhere are severe, and police across the nation are working hard to eliminate drunk driving during this popular holiday. Here are five ways to avoid drinking and driving when March 17th rolls around:
1. Celebrate at a juice bar or other non-alcoholic establishment.
Juice bars and other types of non-alcoholic bars are now in vogue in different cities, serving everything from mocktails to kombucha. Portland, Oregon, for example, has a completely non-alcoholic bar that opened up at the beginning of 2020, and this is just one example of establishments across the country that are following a non-alcohol trend. Check out non-alcoholic bars in your area and make plans with your friends to celebrate St. Patrick’s day alcohol-free. Just because St. Patrick’s Day is often considered a drinking holiday, doesn’t mean it has to be.
2. Go to a restaurant or bar that serves free non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers.
More and more restaurants and bars are acknowledging the importance of keeping drivers who have been drinking off the road. Around drinking holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, they offer free non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers — and in some cases, free food. So, check out the establishments in your area when making plans to see if any offer free food or drinks to designated drivers.
3. Have your group pay the expenses for your designated driver.
The person who decides to be the designated driver takes on a lot of responsibility and demonstrates a lot of regard for your welfare. So, when your group goes out drinking this St. Patrick’s Day, you and your friends can show that you support your designated driver’s effort by getting together and paying their way for the night’s meal, cover charge, or entrance fee. Eliminate any element of peer pressure that designated drivers sometimes face and make a point of showing how much you appreciate their efforts in trying to keep everyone safe.
4. Throw a non-alcoholic party at home.
Invite your friends to take part in an alcohol-free party at your place with lots of different board games, computer games, movies, or other age-appropriate activities that don’t include alcohol. If you and your friends are under the drinking age, have a parent or another responsible adult around so that they can keep an eye on things and ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. Then, all you have to do is have a fun night at home with your friends.
5. Throw a party that focuses on other themes besides drinking.
If you choose to throw a party in your home where you do serve alcohol, make sure everyone who is invited can actually drink legally. Also, make sure your St. Patrick’s celebration has another focus besides drinking — like costumes, Irish dancing, or other musical entertainment. And always have plenty of food, water, and other non-alcoholic beverages available so that alcohol is not the only choice when your guests want to consume something. Decide in advance whether you can offer overnight accommodations to those who do drink and make plans with those individuals beforehand. Finally, have the numbers for local taxis and car-share rides available — and be ready to help call them when it comes time for everyone to go home.
No one wants to feel like the odd man out on St. Patrick’s Day, but that doesn’t mean you should drink and drive. DUI consequences are too serious to overlook. Planning and implementing these ways to avoid drinking and driving will ensure everyone feels included while also being safe.
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