St. Patrick’s Day is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the legend of St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland. With many Worcester residents’ ancestors hailing from the Emerald Isle, St. Paddy’s Day is always a popular holiday.
On Saturday, many revelers will choose to dress in green and gobble up a corned-beef-and-cabbage sandwich. There is another major component to many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations: Alcohol. Downing a few pints of Guinness is fine–as long as you don’t drink and drive.
St. Paddy’s Day statistics
The alarming statistics regarding drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day should deter anyone from ever attempting it. St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular holiday of the calendar year, closely following Independence Day. In fact, on March 17, approximately 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed around the world. Over 152 percent more beer is sold on the holiday than usual, leading to very dangerous roads. Over one-third of Saturday’s pedestrian fatalities will be caused by drunk drivers. Every St. Patrick’s Day, an alcohol-related crash claims a life every 36 minutes–about 60 total fatalities.
The OUI at the end of the rainbow
Aside from the risk of serious car accidents, there is another reason for drivers to avoid getting behind the wheel after too much green beer: Incurring an OUI. Operating Under the Influence, otherwise known as an OUI, is a serious charge in Massachusetts. Even a first offense can lead to major consequences. Drivers who receive an OUI may be subject to fines, mandatory drug and alcohol counseling, loss of driving privileges and even jail time. Not to mention the cost–with attorneys’ fees, court costs and other expenses, OUI charges can cost up to $10,000. And on such a popular holiday, there is bound to be an increased police presence on Worcester streets. It is far better to catch a sober ride than to test your luck drinking and driving.