St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner – that time of year we get in touch with our inner Irishness. We’ll don kelly green, listen to the slight squeakiness of bagpipes, gobble down corned beef and maybe find out if green beer really tastes differently than regular beer.A big ticket item on anyone’s St. Patty’s celebration list will likely include Birmingham’s 32nd St . Patrick’s parade. On Saturday, March 12, starting at 1:30 on 13th Ave, Irish-clad parade participants will make their way down 20th St in Five Points South. The parade will turn left down 10th Ave and go another 6 blocks to 13th St. You can take in all the festivities in the designated Parade Viewing Area and Celebration Zone lining the parade route.Featured this year – same as ever – will be lots o’ Irish food and beverages. There will also be Irish dancing and kid-friendly activities like face painting, a bounce house and an opportunity to explore a fire truck.St. Patty’s Day is a spirited way to welcome spring and meet other people in the community. It’s also a much cheaper alternative to celebrating the Emerald Isle than flying all the way across the pond and kissing the Blarney Stone.
We’re all for St. Patty’s shenanigans – but please be sure to partake responsibly. For some people, a day of drinking or a boisterous holiday are excuses not to exercise better judgment and drink and drive. But remember: drinking and driving has the same potentially catastrophic consequences on St. Patty’s as it does any other day of the year.If convicted of drinking and driving, you will most likely face criminal penalties, such as fines and jail time. Getting busted in a pull-over is an experience that nobody wants. A much worse scenario is causing an accident while you have been drinking. This often means tougher criminal punishment and can open you up to being sued.In a civil proceeding, the victim can go after you for compensation. You can be sued for their medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and other forms of suffering. In the most disastrous situation – if you take another person’s life – the victim’s survivors can file a wrongful death claim and seek compensation for funeral costs and related expenses.Does any of that sound like it’s worth taking shots of Tullamore and then getting behind the wheel? The short answer is a resounding, No!
If you plan to drink Jameson, Guinness – or Patrón for that matter - on St. Patty’s, use that good head of yours and make arrangements for transportation in advance. Have a friend pick you up, take a cab, use a ride-sharing program like Lyft or Uber, or jump on a city bus. Better yet, if you got some extra cash, make an evening out of it and rent a hotel room. The $10 you spend on transportation – or even a $200 splurge – is nothing compared to time spent behind bars, getting sued or paying the ultimate price in cutting an innocent person’s life short.
Pittman Dutton & Hellums is a personal injury law firm that represents car accident victims, including those hurt in a drunk driving collision. Although we are attorneys who are passionate about our legal work, we are first family people and members of the community. To protect everyone in the fine city of Birmingham, we hope you will completely avoid drinking and driving on St. Patty’s and any other day of the year.
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