If you’re already dealing with a DWI charge, you may be dreading St. Patrick’s Day this year. For many people, the only way to celebrate the holiday is by having copious amounts of Jameson’s, Guinness and any other alcoholic drink that is associated with Ireland.
Whether your DWI was your wake-up call to stop drinking, not drinking is a condition of your probation or you simply don’t feel like joining your friends in an alcohol-fueled gathering, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday.
Options for enjoying a sober St. Patrick’s Day
Face it – green beer isn’t really Irish, but lots of things are. Find an Irish music festival, dance performance or a concert – even if it’s on PBS. You might also choose to try your hand at making an Irish meal.
If you’ve got family, friends or acquaintances who are perfectly happy not to drink, invite them over. You can watch classic Irish-themed films, play Irish trivia games or just enjoy each other’s company.
If you’re in a support group, they likely have something planned. If not, it’s easy enough to find a sober gathering if you want to socialize. You might choose to just have a cup of coffee with someone in the group who needs a little support on this holiday as well.
Be prepared if you go out
If you decide to go out and drink (assuming it’s not prohibited under the terms of your probation), just be sure to have a plan to get home safely. That means having at least one ride-sharing app on your phone or a designated driver whom you know you can trust not to drink. Even if you swear to yourself that you won’t drink, be ready to leave your car and call a ride if you do.
As consequential as a first DWI is, subsequent ones are even worse. In New York, a second DWI in a 10-year span can carry a jail term of up to four years, a fine of up to $5,000 and the loss of your driver’s license for at least a year. The penalties increase further with a third DWI. Regardless of which DWI you’re dealing with, you can better minimize the consequences if you have legal guidance.