For those students who don’t plan on letting the unfortunate timing of St. Patrick’s Day keep them from celebrating, it is important to be armed with information needed to stay safe.
Mount Pleasant Police Department issued nine minor in possession citations and seven open intoxication citations last year.
Public Information Officer Jeff Thompson said there were other traffic-related violations that could not be directly related to holiday celebrations.
To protect oneself from a potential run-in with law enforcement, Thompson stressed the idea of minimizing risk by remaining alert and responsible.
“A primary rule of risk management is to not put yourself in a situation that may be risky,” Thompson said. “By using good judgment and drinking responsibly, a person should be able to recognize when a situation is getting out of control and make the decision to leave the risky situation.”
Thompson also advised using a “buddy system” to ensure the safety of friends. By watching out for one another and monitoring alcohol consumption, students can take the extra step to make sure no harm comes to those celebrating the green holiday.
In addition to staying out of trouble, students should make sure they are not putting themselves in danger when it comes to their physical health. A lack of responsibility when drinking can lead to serious health concerns.
Ben Breidenstein, manager of The Bird Bar and Grill, not only has the task of providing beverages and food on St. Patrick’s Day, but also ensuring his patrons are taken care of.
To help students and residents stay safe, Breidenstein suggested taking a cab and avoiding walking around to eliminate any of the dangers.
“If students plan on drinking all day it’s really important that they start off already hydrated,” Breidenstein said.
Both Breidenstein and Courtney Snody, manager of Marty’s Bar, said drinking plenty of water is essential to surviving St. Patrick’s Day.
Snody pointed out that every person metabolizes alcohol differently, so it is important to know your own body and what it can handle.
Like Thompson, Snody emphasized the use of the buddy system or traveling in groups as a safety measure.
“It’s always good, if you’re in a group of people, (to) maybe designate someone to be responsible for the group,” Snody said. “Know your limit and pace yourself.”
Students can use a self-imposed limit on the number of drinks they consume throughout the day to maintain a safer level of intoxication just like they would for any other occasion.
“Everybody needs to know their limit of alcohol consumption,” Thompson said. “I would encourage a time limit between drinks, and fill that time with drinking water.”