Those celebrating St. Patty's should wear green, have fun and drink responsibly, police say




The Timmins Police Service is keenly aware that there will be significant reasons for local citizens and guests visiting the city to partake in St. Patty’s Day celebrations. Even persons who are no Celtic background tend to hoist a drink or two to celebrate the day recognizing Ireland’s patron saint. There are simple steps that lads and lasses can follow to avoid Impaired Driving situations that endanger motorists, their passengers and pedestrians as well.

With this in mind, the Timmins Police Service offer the following community safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a solid plan to get home safely. No deviating allowed.
  • Determine with your doctor or pharmacist if there are any impairment side effects related to driving when using prescription medications
  • Read warning labels thoroughly on any prescription medication packaging and any over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold remedies
  • Be mindful that, fatigue and stress can exaggerate the effects of alcohol and ultimately affect your ability to drive safely. Impaired Operation, as defined under the Criminal Code of Canada means operating a vehicle of any description while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

It is a crime act under the Criminal Code of Canada and the consequences are serious and severe. The penalties related to impaired operation include, and are not limited to:

  • Loss of Driver’s Licence
  • Having your vehicle towed at your expense
  • Court appearances
  • Hefty fines (upon conviction)
  • Legal requirement to install ignition interlock devices in your vehicle
  • Incarceration

Ontario is recognized as a leader in combating impaired driving with the implementation of some of the toughest laws and programs in North America. If you are out celebrating St- Patty’s Day and indulging in the consumption of alcoholic beverages:

Please act in a responsible manner.

  • Select a responsible designated driver who won’t let you down. Decide who is going to be taking on the task of driving home before you go out, and monitor that person so that he or she does not drink any alcoholic beverages.
  • If all else fails, call for a taxi. If your designated driver fails to maintain his obligation, he is no longer an option for driving home. If nobody in your group is completely sober, alternate transportation is your best bet.

If you are going to be hosting a St-Patty’s Day party:

  • Make sure everyone is wearing some form of green clothing
  • Offer up non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, and pop are good options so be sure to give your guests plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives.
  • Never pressure a guest at your party to drink alcohol. This is way off-side.
  • It never hurt to offer up plenty of food on St- Patty’s Day. Food consumption can slow the rate of alcohol absorption. If not a sit down meal, be sure to have plenty of appetizers at the ready.
  • Arrange for alternate transportation for your guests who did not plan ahead. Pay attention to your guests and their alcohol consumption and overall behavior. Better to be safe than sorry so in cases where a guest has been drinking and seems to be even the slightest bit tipsy, call him or her a cab or set up a ride with a sober, responsible driver.

While the hazards associated with impaired driving are well known and well publicized, it still persists as a threat to public safety. Those who will be celebrating should know and be aware that officers with the Timmins Police Service will be hyper-vigilant in regards to driving behaviors that merit further scrutiny at the roadside. Plan now and stick to your plan to get home safely.