WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. -
St. Patrick’s Day is certainly a day celebrated in good spirit.
"[It’s about] sharing great food, comradery, that's the whole point of today everybody getting out and just enjoying the celebration of life," said Bob Emerson of Damascus, Md., a customer at Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House in Boonsboro, Md..
Yet, when asked what comes to mind after hearing the words “St. Patrick’s Day,” most patrons at Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House simply laughed, offering replies along the lines of "alcohol" and “beer!”
It’s safe to say the holiday celebrated in good spirit, is often celebrated with spirits.
As a result, officers from the Hagerstown Police Department are urging people not to test their luck this year -- and to celebrate safely.
"Don't take valuables with you, just take the necessities, always use a taxi cab, a designated driver, watch where you set your drinks, don't leave your drink unattended at a bar," suggested Officer Heather Aleshire of the Hagerstown Police Department.
The Police Department has officers out on overtime for the weekend, focusing on on erratic and aggressive drivers.
Bartenders say there is always a delicate balance of making sure customers are having a good time, but also staying safe.
“I'll look for redness of eyes, slurred speech or stumbling, odd behavior at all, three or four drinks I'll start definitely making sure I’m paying attention,” said Tricia Hawkins a bartender at Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House.
Unfortunately, crowded holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day can make bar tenders jobs more difficult. Ultimately, it's up to each and every one of us to look out for each other and act responsibility.
Mother’s Against Drunk Driving said that if you do encounter a drunk driver, stay as far away from the vehicle as possible. Gather as much information about the vehicle as you can without endangering yourself in the process --and find a safe place to pull over and call 911.