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How to avoid a DUI on St. Patrick's Day

It started out as a religious holiday in Ireland. However, to most Americans, St. Patrick's Day is a day to have fun, drink and celebrate their Irish roots -- real or imagined. Most St. Patrick's Day celebrations involve drinking -- everything from green beer to the more authentically Irish Guinness and various brands of Irish whiskey.

Law enforcement officers are out in force watching for drunk drivers. Therefore, the best way to avoid having a DUI ruin your day (and the weeks and months after), is not to get behind the wheel after drinking. Even better -- try a sober St. Patty's Day. You'll remember it, and there won't be any embarrassing pictures or videos following you around online.

How do you stay sober while still celebrating a day of the year that seems dedicated to drinking? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Be a designated driver. When people are counting on you to give them a safe ride home, it's easier to overcome the temptation to drink. It also gives you a good answer for all of the people who ask why you aren't drinking. You'll likely get plenty of free nonalcoholic beverages if you're celebrating at a local bar or restaurant.
  • Celebrate with other friends who aren't drinking. If you're in a recovery program, you've likely heard of a few sober St. Patty's day celebrations in your area. If not, organize your own.
  • Find a different type of Irish celebration. Not all St. Patrick's Day celebrations involve alcohol. Check out an Irish dance show, find out where there's an Irish band playing or enjoy Atlanta's St. Patrick's Day Parade. It even includes a 5K run.

If all of your best intentions for a sober St. Patrick's Day dissolve for whatever reason and you find yourself facing a DUI charge, it's essential to seek experienced legal guidance. A DUI -- even a first offense -- can have a serious impact on your life, your education and your future.