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Liquor Licensees Urged to Serve Responsibly on St. Patrick's Day, the #1 Day for Beer Drinking

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-335-LARA (5272)

March 12, 2020 - As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) reminds its 19,000 liquor licensees to serve patrons responsibly and urges Michiganders to not drink and drive.

“Unfortunately, St. Patrick’s Day has become, for many people, a day to binge drink and get drunk, endangering so many lives, including their own. Always plan a safe way home before you start to drink,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “Licensees have the responsibility to ensure they do not overserve patrons, serve only to those of legal drinking age, and keep control of rowdy patrons in their establishments.”

MLCC offers the following tips to licensees and consumers to help ensure safe St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. 

Tips for liquor licensees:

  • Check ID to verify a patron’s age is 21 years or older before selling or serving alcohol to them.
  • Serve responsibly to ensure that no one becomes intoxicated in your business.
  • Intoxicated individuals who enter your establishment are not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol.
  • Maintain order and control of the premises through constant observance of customers and situations to avoid altercations and obstructed exits which are safety and fire hazards.

Consumer tips for a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Designate a sober driver; or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
  • Don’t ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
  • Always buckle up. It’s your best defense against drunk drivers.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911 to reach law enforcement.

“Put safety first this St. Patrick’s Day, drive sober or get pulled over,” said Gagliardi. “Buzzed driving is drunk driving with serious consequences. Even one drink can impair judgement.”

With 57% of Americans planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2020, consider these sobering statistics:*

  • 73 people were killed in drunk driving crashes over St. Patrick’s Day in 2018, one life claimed every 30 minutes
  • 62% of fatal St. Patrick’s Day holiday car crashes involved a drunk driver
  • 33% of pedestrians killed in 2018 St. Patrick’s Day holiday crashes had a blood-alcohol level of .08+
  • 174% more beer is sold, and 153% more spirits are sold on St. Patrick’s Day than usual
  • 4.2 is the average number of drinks consumed per person on St. Patrick’s Day
  • 32% of men admit to binge drinking on St. Patrick’s Day

It is the mission of MLCC to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through regulation of those involved in the importation, sale, consumption, distribution, and delivery of these alcohol beverage products.

*Sources: WalletHub (data is based on information from the National Retail Federation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. Census Bureau, and news reports.)

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