St. Patrick’s Day Patron & Bartender Safety Tips

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone should celebrate responsibly. Here are some tips to help alcohol consumers and alcohol seller-servers to  safely navigate the Irish-themed festivities.

Customers

Have a Plan for Getting Home Safely
If you’re going out to a bar or party, ensure everyone in your group has a safe means of returning home. Select a designated driver, plot a bus route or arrange a ride. Cities have lists of phone numbers and links for local transportation including taxi companies, SafeRide and ridesharing services.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. If you are driving, remember you are responsible for the safety of everyone in the car.

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Never drink and drive. In legal terms, impaired driving is drunk driving. Local law enforcement in most areas will be conducting impaired driving patrols. Whether you’re driving or just crossing the street on foot, keep your awareness levels high.

Use the Buddy System
Plan ahead by taking a trusted friend who has your best interests in mind. Stay together! Look out for the safety of your friends and talk to them about doing the same for you.

Eat and Stay Hydrated
Make sure you eat well and stay hydrated throughout the day you are planning to go out. An effective tip is to eat food with protein and fat before and during drinking. It also helps to alternate a non-alcoholic beverage, such as water, with any alcoholic drinks you consume. Eating and drinking water also can decrease the likelihood you’ll have a hangover.

Leave Valuables at Home
Make sure you don’t leave valuables unattended. The best way to keep your possessions safe is to leave them secured at home. It reduces the chance they will be lost or taken from you. If a party is being hosted at your home, also be sure to lock up your valuables.

Stay by Your Drinks
Even if you are not drinking alcohol, it is easy for someone to put something in your drink unless you see it opened or prepared. Keep your drink with you at all times.

Bartenders and Alcohol Servers

An alcohol safety seller-server program prepares bartenders, servers, and all front-of-house staff to effectively and safely handle difficult situations in restaurants. Alcohol service involves many risks. Failure to act responsibly could result in fines, imprisonment, losing your liquor license, increased insurance costs, or losing your business. Restaurant employees could face criminal charges for serving alcohol to a minor or an intoxicated customer and can even be held liable if an intoxicated customer’s actions lead to a death, injury or property damage.

Restaurants need to be prepared to handle these risks with responsible alcohol training. Here are some tips to keep in mind when serving alcohol:

  • Make sure staff is properly checking identifications to verify the customers are in fact 21 or older, not just at the door, but at the point of sale.
  • Train staff to recognize impaired or intoxicated patrons.
  • Offer free non-alcoholic beverages and food for designated drivers.
  • Tell staff to watch for anyone attempting to tamper with drinks.
  • Encourage staff to talk to patrons about their plan for a safe ride home.
  • Familiarize staff with ride share and cab transportation for the evening.

Have fun celebrating St. Paddy’s Day. By following simple, useful tips, you can help make March 17 more fun and safe for everyone.