St. Patrick’s Day: How to be smart when drinking that green beer

by | Mar 17, 2016 | News

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse - 17/3/16Paddy Cusack enjoys a pint of Guinness during St Patrick's Day at Cheltenham. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)

Horse Racing – Cheltenham Festival – Paddy Cusack enjoys a pint of Guinness during St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham, England. (Reuters/Dylan Martinez)

Morgan Gallagher

Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun experience, but there are guidelines that everyone should follow to stay safe, experts say.

According to Canada’s Low-risk Drinking Guidelines, it’s important to set limits, drink slowly and have an non-alcoholic beverage for every alcoholic beverage.

“Every student should know, in Ontario, if they are below the age of 22, if your driving, they need to have zero Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), that means no drinking, no alcohol, no drugs, until you get past the age of 22.” – Carolyn Swanson, MADD Toronto

Catherine Paradis, a researcher at the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA), says that alcohol is mostly used as symbol to mark time off, but there are times when people tend to go overboard.

“When a special occasion, such as St. Patrick’s Day comes up, people culturally feel that it is the time and place to drink, and to drink excessively to mark a difference with what they usually do,” Paradis told Humber News.

MADD Canada has partnered with #TAXI to create a safer way for people to get home after a night out drinking.

Carolyn Swanson from Toronto’s MADD Chapter spoke to Humber News and said that students should be extra careful when thinking about getting behind the wheel of a car after they’ve been drinking alcohol.

“Every student should know, in Ontario, if they are below the age of 22, if your driving, they need to have zero Blood Alcohol Content, that means no drinking, no alcohol, no drugs, until you get past the age of 22.”

Paradis also says that people should pay more attention to Canada’s low-risk guidelines which suggest that women should never drink more that two drinks on one occasion and men should never drink more than three.

“The guidelines also specify the acknowledgement that there is special occasions where people might want to drink a little bit more… On those special occasions, according to the national guidelines, women should never take more than three drinks and men should never take more than four drinks.”

Swanson says it’s never to late to call help for someone that needs it. Whether it’s a safe ride home or emergency services, everyone deserves a chance to get home safe.

“If you see somebody who is driving impaired, you can call 911 and get that person off the road. But, ideally you want to stop people, if you know somebody who’s had to much to drink, then just stop them,” says Swanson.

Check out the info graphic below for more tips on safe drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, or any special holiday.