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MI: Stay Safe this St. Patrick’s Day, Never Drink and Drive, So Everyone Gets Home Safely

MI: Stay Safe this St. Patrick’s Day, Never Drink and Drive, So Everyone Gets Home Safely

News Release
March 14, 2022

March 14, 2022 – Whether your preference is green beer, Irish whiskey, or some other form of alcohol, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) urges Michiganders not to drink and drive when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t rely on luck to get you home safely. If you drink, set a designated driver, call a friend, call a cab, or use a ride-share app, like Uber or Lyft to get home safely. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 so everyone can be safe. Last but not least, the state’s liquor licensees are reminded to serve patrons responsibly so everyone gets home safely.

“St Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to drunk driving as many people choose to get drunk and endanger their lives and the lives of others,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “Buzzed driving is drunk driving with serious consequences.”

It can be easy for adults to underestimate how much alcohol they are consuming and overestimate their fitness to drive when leaving the bar or a party. Consumers should think in terms of “standard drinks” — not number of drinks. Adults who choose to drink alcohol should stick with no more than one “standard” drink a day for women or two for men in accordance with federal dietary guidelines. What actually counts as a “standard” drink is less than you think.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a drink” is defined as 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol, or roughly:

  • a 12-ounce beer – (about 5% alcohol)
  • a 5-ounce glass of wine, (typically about 12% alcohol); or
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (about 40% alcohol).

So, that 32-ounce beer isn’t “just one beer” any more than a Grande Margarita is “just one drink.” Today’s beer, wine and spirits products come in a wide range of containers with varying alcohol content, making it difficult to calculate and track just how much you’re drinking.

The effects of alcohol are the same whether you drink beer, wine, or whiskey. That 12-ounce can of beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5-ounce shot of whiskey are all “standard” drinks and contain the same amount of alcohol. Even one drink can impair a person’s ability to drive by slowing reaction time, dulling concentration, and causing vision problems.

The MLCC reminds liquor licensees of their responsibilities to keep customers safe — to check IDs and serve only those of legal drinking age and to not overserve patrons. Also, licensees shall maintain order and know their establishment’s capacity limits to avoid overcrowding that can lead to obstructed exits which are safety and fire hazards.