St. Patricks Day Parade
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By Jarome Gautreaux

Many people, whether Irish or not, enjoy the festivities yearly on St. Patrick’s Day.  St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, commemorating Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. It is a day known for its festive spirit, parades, wearing green articles of clothing and accessories, and, unfortunately, in some cases, heavy consumption of alcohol.

St. Patrick’s Day’s festive nature should not overshadow the importance of safety. Individuals can enjoy the celebrations by making responsible choices without putting themselves or others at risk. Drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day poses significant dangers to the driver and passengers, other road users, and pedestrians

Key Dangers Associated With Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

  • Impaired Judgment and Coordination: Alcohol impairs one’s ability to make quick decisions and affects coordination, making it difficult to react to changing road conditions, traffic signals, and the actions of other drivers, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
  • Increased Risk of Accidents and Fatalities: St. Patrick’s Day is associated with a higher number of DUI incidents compared to many other days. The festive atmosphere leads to increased alcohol consumption, which in turn leads to a higher risk of accidents and fatalities on the roads.
  • Financial Impact: Aside from legal fines, drunk driving can lead to significant economic costs, including higher insurance premiums, legal fees, and expenses associated with vehicle damages and personal injuries.
  • Social and Professional Repercussions: Being convicted of a DUI can have long-term consequences in one’s social and professional life. It can tarnish one’s reputation, lead to job loss, and result in social stigma.
  • Endangering Others: Drunk driving is not just dangerous to the driver but also to others on the road, including other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. The decision to drive drunk can result in irreversible harm to innocent people.

Legal Consequences Of Driving Under The Influence

Being caught driving under the influence can result in severe legal consequences, including fines, loss of driver’s license, and even imprisonment. The consequences can be more dire if drunk driving results in an accident, causing injury or death.

A DUI can lead to several types of legal claims in Georgia. Both civil and criminal claims can arise from driving while under the influence:

  • Civil Claims: Individuals injured by a drunk driver can file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the drunk driving incident resulted in a fatality, the family of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. In addition, if the incident involved property damage, the owner of the damaged property could file a claim for the cost of repairs or replacement. Under Georgia’s dram shop laws, businesses or even individuals who knowingly served alcohol to an intoxicated person who then caused a DUI accident may be held liable.
  • Criminal Charges: A DUI charge is the primary criminal charge for those caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Georgia, it is illegal to operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher if you’re over the age of 21, .02% if you are under 21, or .04% if you are operating a commercial vehicle. In addition, if a drunk driving incident results in a severe injury, you can be faced with this charge.  If there has been a fatality, the driver can be charged with vehicular homicide.

The above legal claims can result in various penalties, including fines, jail time, community service, probation, and the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license for criminal charges. Civil claims can result in the awarding of monetary compensation to the victims or their families. It is essential for individuals facing DUI charges or those affected by a DUI incident to consult with an attorney to understand the specific implications of their case.


While St. Patrick’s Day should be celebratory and enjoyed by many, we must avoid the dangers of drunk driving by planning. Being proactive can include designating a sober driver, using public transportation, or utilizing ride-sharing services. Many communities also offer free ride programs on St. Patrick’s Day to prevent drunk driving. If an accident, or worse, serious consequences ensue due to a DUI, consult an attorney to help you. Gautreaux Law, LLC can help determine if you are entitled to compensation for your suffering.  Contact the legal professionals at Gautreaux Law for a free, one-on-one consultation to determine what your case is worth. We charge our clients nothing unless we win.

About the Author
Jarome Gautreaux is a personal injury trial lawyer. He represents people who have been seriously injured, as well as the families of people killed because of carelessness or negligence. For over 20 years, he has successfully recovered more than 100 million dollars in a variety of Macon personal injury cases. Jarome’s reputation for client focus and case success has led to other lawyers requesting his assistance with complex personal injury litigation. What drives Jarome every day is his strong belief that the amount of money someone has should not dictate the justice they receive. It is for this reason that he has never worked for corporations, insurance companies, or other interest groups. Instead, he thrives on helping the people who need it most- people who have suffered at the hands of others and deserve compensation.