St. Patrick’s Day ain’t what it used to be – thank goodness

By on March 16, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

Back when I was young and foolish – or let’s say younger and more foolish – my friends and I actually thought it was important to “get our Irish on” for St. Patrick’s Day. Of course that consisted mostly of consuming our share of a variety of fine Irish libations.

I can’t claim to have much Irish blood in me; a few drops at most. And it wasn’t as if a bunch of my friends were of Irish extraction. So there really was no good reason for us to go whole hog on St. Patrick’s Day, but that didn’t stop us. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.

These days, my St. Patrick’s Day observations consist of little more than putting on some green clothing (if I remember to do even that much). I can’t imagine celebrating it the way we used to, but you can bet that plenty of people will, especially since it falls on Saturday this year.

So I want to encourage one and all – the legitimately Irish, those who will lay claim to some measure of that heritage just for the day, and those who couldn’t care less – to be careful this Saturday. No doubt there will be plenty of over-served revelers out and about, with the potential for drunken-driving disaster significantly higher than on an ordinary Saturday night.

The wise won’t get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. There are plenty of alternatives to this dangerous practice. Take public transportation, or designate a driver who’ll stay sober and see to it that everyone in your party gets home safely. In the Washington, D.C., area, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program sponsors SoberRide; you just call 800-200-TAXI (8294) and you can get a cab ride worth up to $30 for free. Most major metropolitan areas offer similar services.

So by all means, don your green garments and your “Kiss me; I’m Irish” button if that’s what floats your boat. But if you celebrate the day with alcohol, don’t push your luck (of the Irish); there’s simply no reason to put yourself or your loved ones at risk.