Going Green and Guinness:
St. Patrick's always been associated with shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, and getting pinched if you don't wear green. There's always a St. Patrick's Day parade, lots of corned beef and cabbage, and plenty of Guinness. St. Patrick’s Day is March 17 and has been celebrated on that day since the 17th century.
Legend has it that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, making him the patron saint, although he's actually British. Folklore has it that he drove out all the snakes in Ireland before his death in 461, and since then has helped to cultivate a patriotism that is nearly unmatched. There are around 35 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry – that’s seven times the population of Ireland! – and the holiday is not just celebrated by this Irish-rooted group.
Let the Celebrations Begin!
The Irish Americans and the Irish-at-heart first celebrated St. Patrick's Day in 1737 in Boston. Today, the holiday's celebrated all over the U.S. with Denver home to one of the country's largest St. Patrick's Day parades with around 200,000 expected to attend.
After Mardi Gras and New Year's Eve, St. Paddy's Day ranks third for drinking. One in three admit to binge drinking during the holiday, and it's estimated that over 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed that day. According to WalletHub, 75 percent of St. Patrick's Day drinking and driving fatalities involved people twice over the legal .08 limit. Over half of all Americans planning to drink during the holiday will drink beer. One in five will down hard liquor and one in 10 will tag-team their drinks by imbibing both.
Here are some more sobering facts about St. Patrick's Day drinking and driving from WalletHub:
- There's 152 percent more beer sold while more than 819 percent of Guinness than usual is drunk during the holiday.
- Fifty-nine people died on St. Patrick's Day 2017 from drunken driving crashes. That's one death every 37 minutes.
- Over four out of 10 who died from those crashes were between the ages of 21 and 34 (years 2013 to 2017).
- One in three of the pedestrians who were killed over the holiday had blood alcohol levels over the legal limit of .08.
Drinking and driving is not a rite of passage on St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate the music, the food, the culture, families, and the parades. It only takes getting behind the wheel once after a few drinks to change lives forever. So we've put together a few tips to help you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely.
TIPS FOR DRIVING SAFELY ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY
It can't be stressed enough that if you plan on drinking, don't drive. EVER. Four drinks is the average amount of drinking per person during the holiday. Always choose a designated driver, bring extra cash for a cab, spread out your drinks over several hours and make sure to eat.
Don't let your friends drive drunk. Take their keys and call them a cab. Many towns and cities have local sober ride programs that you can call for a safe drive home. Find these resources before going out on the town. Keep in mind that you don't have to drink to have fun.
Try celebrating St. Patrick’s Day sober. There's an international movement to curb drinking and driving over the St. Patrick's Day holiday. It's called Sober St. Patrick's Day. It's a non-profit group dedicated to reclaiming the holiday in honor of Irish culture and St. Patrick. By celebrating sober, more lives are saved from drinking and driving.
May the luck of the Irish be with you. Don't forget to wear green and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely. Remember: buzzed driving is drunk driving. Drink responsibly. We at INFINITI OF DENVER want you to stay safe and still have fun over the holiday.