St. Patrick’s Day means a green Chicago River, flowing beer, and hopefully a bit of luck. You may not find a four-leaf clover or pot of gold, but fortunately, you don’t need either to keep yourself safe during this festive holiday. Use these safety tips as lucky charms to navigate through this St. Patty’s Day:
Last year, Americans spent a whopping $5.9 billion on St. Patrick’s Day, 42 percent of which was on alcoholic beverages.
- Drive sober.
- Plan ahead; have a designated driver assigned before you go out.
- Download/register for Uber or Lyft. Many cities even offer special holiday discounts.
- Be sure to keep your phone charged so you can call your driver or access these potentially life-saving apps.
We cannot stress the importance of driving sober. Not only do you run the risk of causing serious bodily harm to yourself or another, but DUI/DWIs pose significant financial burdens. A ten percent increase in DUIs is typical during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. There is no “accident forgiveness” for a DUI charge, and premiums can jump anywhere from 30-100 percent because you are deemed a high-risk driver with a DUI on your record. Insurance companies also retain the right to drop you entirely from your plan, and applying for car insurance becomes increasingly difficult after a DUI. Insurance companies often ask if you have been convicted of a DUI in the past five years because it is a red flag for prospective guarantors. Even after the five-year period, a DUI remains permanently on your record and available to the public. Typically, alcohol-related crashes cause more damages than any other accident.
- Drink smart.
- Hydrate with plenty of water and make sure to eat before you begin celebrating.
- Take smaller sips. It’s not a race!
- Watch your drink.
- Never accept an open drink.
- Don’t set your drink down. If you do, be sure to order a new one.
- Protect your personal property.
- Take only the bare essentials with you when you go out, so they don’t get lost!
- Stay with your party.
- Surround yourself with people you trust.
Of the 60 percent of Americans who plan to celebrate, only around half will go to a restaurant or bar. If you plan to host a party, here are some things to consider.
- Protect your personal property.
- Keep certain areas off-limits.
- Make sure any valuables are hidden and locked away.
- Understand liability.
- Research the risks and limits on throwing a house party in your region/state.
- Take the keys of guests to they do not drive after drinking.
- Expect some friends to stay the night. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk!
In many states, third parties and social hosts can be charged criminally or civilly for damages caused by a guest who was served beverages at the host’s residence. Home insurance policies may cover some liquor liability, but it’s important you speak with your insurance agent to fully understand your coverage and the risks associated with throwing a house party.
Enjoy your St. Patty’s Day and remember that ‘diligence is the mother of good luck!’
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