FEATURE — As many choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, law enforcement and first responders want to encourage everyone to be responsible with their festivities.
Here are some tips to help you safely navigate St. Patrick’s Day (and other festivities during the year):
Predetermine a safe way to get home for you and friends
Whether you’re watching a parade or going to or hosting a party, ensure everyone in your group has a safe means of returning home if you plan to drink. Select a designated driver, arrange for a cab, plot a bus route or figure out a nearby place you can crash for the night.
It’s a good idea to keep route maps of local public transportation, as well as the numbers for taxi companies handy during the day.
Eat before going out
Drinking on an empty stomach is a good way to end your St. Paddy’s Day a lot earlier than planned. Make sure to get some nutrients in you to help absorb that alcohol.
Getting enough water will also help keep the party going on longer and decrease the likelihood you’ll have a March 18 hangover.
If you feel impaired, don’t get behind the wheel
In the eyes of the law, impaired driving is drunk driving, and even if you feel fine, a breathalyzer might not concur. With all the checkpoints on the roads, it’s best to play it extra safe. If you have even the least bit of doubt, don’t drive.
Be extra cautious on the roads
Just because you’re a safe and sober driver doesn’t mean other people are. A disproportionate of traffic accidents on St. Patrick’s Day are caused by people driving under the influence. Whether you’re driving or just crossing the street on foot, keep your awareness levels high.
Maintain situational awareness at all times
While at restaurants, parties, bars or events, know where your exits are and if you see something suspicious report it to the authorities.
And with these tips in mind, never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck.
Written by SAM DIGIOVANNA. DiGiovanna is a fire chief based in Southern California with a part-time residence in St. George, Utah.
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