St. Patrick’s Day Safety

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and Chicago is one of the best cities in the country to celebrate the holiday. Despite all the fun events like the dying of the Chicago River, the annual parade, and the traditional consumption of green beer, there are many opportunities to risk injury on this holiday. Are you taking the proper precautions to stay safe? Consider this short guide from our Chicago personal injury attorneys when making your St. Patrick’s Day plans.

Tips for Large Events

Whether you choose to head downtown to check out the festivities near the Chicago River or watch the big parade, it is important to keep yourself and your family safe this St. Patrick’s Day. Use these tips to get a jump start on safety.

Consider Leaving Your Car at Home

Parking is often scarce during large events, and you run the risk of your car becoming a target for theft of vandalism. Instead, consider taking a ridesharing service, or public transportation.

Form a Buddy System

If you are bringing children to a large event, assign each child to a responsible adult – the ability to watch one or two children exclusively rather than the whole group cuts down on the chances someone will go missing. If you are with friends, the same applies – keep an eye on your buddy and he or she can do the same for you.

Form a Plan

Whether you head to the big event with family or friends, it is important to make a plan of action in the event you lose each other. Designate a meeting spot to go to if one member of the group separates from the rest.

Speak with Your Children

Inform them about the risks of speaking to and leaving with strangers. If children lose sight of you, they should head towards your meeting spot and seek the assistance of a police officer. If no officer is available, a mother with children is often a good second choice.

Charge Your Cell Phone

You will need access to your cell phone if a member of your group goes missing, or for any one of a hundred other scenarios. Make sure you fully charge your phone before heading out.

Leave valuables at home. Large crowds are prime spots for thieves and pickpockets; someone brushing up against you in a crowd may go unnoticed, and result in the theft of valuable items you have on your person.

Tips for Bar- and Festival-Goers

Many people choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by enjoying green beer at one of Chicago’s many pubs, bars and nightclubs. In addition to the above suggestions, keep these tips in mind to avoid shenanigans:

Keep an eye on your drink

Crowded bars and festivals are prime places for someone to slip something unknown into your drink. Never accept an open drink from anyone but the bartender, and if you lose track of your drink, get a new one.

Drink Plenty of Water

Ideally, you should limit yourself to one drink per hour, with plenty of water in between. Drinking water prevents dehydration and prevents you from becoming overly intoxicated.

Avoid Fights

St. Patrick’s Day is, unfortunately, one of the most popular nights of the year to get into a street fight. Avoid people looking for a fight, and report any ongoing fights to management or the police.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Plan ahead by arranging for someone to pick you up, using public transportation, or by arranging an Uber or other ridesharing service. If you notice friends or family attempting to drive drunk, speak up. You could be saving a life.

Chicago is a fun, safe place to celebrate Irish heritage. If you plan ahead, stay vigilant, and avoid becoming too intoxicated, you will avoid many of the common risks of venturing out on St. Patrick’s Day.