St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th! This annual religious and cultural holiday is celebrated to honor St. Patrick, a patron saint of Ireland. The day is full of celtic folk music, corn beef and hash, and plenty of green alcoholic beverages. In fact, the holiday has been associated with drinking in excess for many. This creates several issues for those trying to stay healthy, sober, and safe.

Bars, pubs, and party behavior are staples for the day painted in green. For many, the party holiday gives them the excuse to drink or drink excessively, some even to the point of alcohol poisoning. Sadly for some, it can be a trip up to their sobriety and lead them back to a life of alcoholism. The amount of alcohol consumed puts many in compromised states, impairing their judgment and making it particularly dangerous to get behind the wheel.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), “During the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), more than a third (36%) of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver. In fact, from 2016 to 2020, 287 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day period.” Alcohol-related accidents, injuries, violence, and drunk driving are all hallmarks of the holiday and generally hallmarks of all holidays to be fair. The United States Department of Transportation reports every day, there are roughly 32 deaths related to drunk-driving. Many holiday traditions encourage drinking or recreational drug use along with social drinking pressure. You can be sure to find bars filled every St. Patty’s Day and plenty getting on the road under the influence after a night of Irish music and bar hopping. Besides the green beer, there are several festivities and games associated with St. Patrick’s Day that further encourages high amounts of alcohol consumption.

A few of the common games include:

  • Leprechaun Dice: This game involves players rolling the dice to get a lucky number seven. If they do roll a seven, players must take a drink and yell out “Leprechaun!”
  • Green Beer Pong: The pretty standard game of beer pong with a green twist involves shooting a ball in a cup to win rounds – meaning the other team has to drink up green colored beer.
  • Irish Poker: People may start with a poker face on for this game but it can quickly turn into drunk play as each player must guess the color or suit of cards dealt. When they guess correctly they don’t have to take a drink but the player next to them does. If they are incorrect, the player must take a drink.

All of these games, while fun in nature, can lead to partakers getting drunk. Anyone looking to stay clear of this may want to re-think the drinking part of the games and replace it with yummy non-alcoholic drinks or tasty traditional treats … Afterall, you will be ditching a hangover and potential dangers of high blood alcohol concentration. Even a “buzzed” driver should not get behind the wheel.

Although there are many issues with heavy drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, many people mark the occasion with wholesome celebrations that include parades, family gatherings, and alcohol-free events. If you struggle with addiction issues, seeking out a sober event or being with sober friends could really help you stick to your recovery goals. For those looking to still drink on St. Patrick’s Day, you are encouraged to be responsible and realize your choices affect others. Planning ahead with a designated driver can help save your life and someone others from the chaos involved with drunk driving or even death.

If you know someone who has struggled with alcohol use and drug addiction, Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center is a place of peaceful support. We have served our community and people nationwide for over a decade as Arizona’s premier addiction center. Learn more by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.