These sobering St. Patrick’s Day facts give reason to be cautious during weekend celebrations

If not done right, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day can have deadly consequences

Stock image. Pressmaster (Pexels)

This weekend figures to be a festive one around the country, with St. Patrick’s Day on Sunday producing an assortment of festivals, parades, and of course, parties at local establishments to celebrate Irish heritage and the life of St. Patrick himself.

A missionary and Bishop in Ireland who is believed to have died on March 17, 461, a tradition of consuming food and alcohol was born as a way to pay tribute to St. Patrick’s life and take a day break from abstaining from certain foods and alcohol during Lent.

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Over time though, the day has also become a way to pay tribute to Irish heritage, and it has become synonymous with heavy binge drinking during celebrations.

That has led to some dangerous consequences and sobering stats that should be a cautionary tale for any weekend celebrations.

Here are some notable St. Patrick’s Day stats, according to The Recovery Village.

  • In 2019, 63% of car-related fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day weekend involved drunken drivers.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, 280 people were killed in drunken driving incidents during St. Patrick’s Day.
  • A drunken driving death occurs an estimated every 30 minutes during St. Patrick’s Day.
  • In 2018, 33% of pedestrians killed in car crashes over St. Patrick’s Day weekend had a BAC over .08.
  • Beer sales increase by 174% and spirit sales by 153% over St. Patrick’s Day.
  • On average, drinkers consume 4.2 drinks on St. Patrick’s Day.

Tips to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely

In order to make sure you can still celebrate St. Patrick’s Day safely without endangering others, here are some helpful tips:

  • Celebrate sober by having an Irish meal, having non-alcoholic drinks or watching an Irish film.
  • Appoint a designated driver.
  • If you are drinking, pace yourself by drinking one alcoholic beverage per hour.
  • Set a limit of the number of drinks you consume.
  • Eat and drink water to help your body better deal with alcohol consumption.

As long as it’s done right, it should be a fun weekend of celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day around the country. It will be better if the stats and advice above is heeded so they become festive celebrations, not dangerous ones.

About the Author

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.

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