Weekly Column by Johanna Hicks for March 8th, 2019: This St. Paddy’s Day, Don’t Rely on the Luck o’ the Irish

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This St. Paddy’s Day, Don’t Rely on the Luck o’ the Irish

               For decades, Americans across the country have come together to celebrate their Irish heritage — Irish or not — over a pint of green beer and community festivities.  Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head home.  In 2017 alone, 59 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Paddy’s Day holiday period.

               The selfish act of drinking and driving can rip people from their friends and loved ones forever.  For this reason, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is working to spread the message about the dangers of drunk driving.  Even one drink can be one too many.  For people planning to go out and celebrate the Irish festivities, plan ahead — and remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

               Tragically, March 17 has become a dangerous and even deadly holiday on American roadways.  According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), during the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, more than one-third (37 percent) of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.  The early hours of March 18, 2017 were the most dangerous. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., three-fourths (75 percent) of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.  In fact, from 2013 to 2017, more than one-third (35 percent) of the drunk-driving fatalities during this holiday period involved drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations well above the .08 legal limit, with 234 total drunk-driving fatalities.

               Drivers should also keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to surroundings could put pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.

 St. Patrick’s Day should be a fun holiday for our community members, but we expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions.  Whether you’re driving yourself or your friends, make sure you stay sober or plan for a sober ride home.  Remember: It’s not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely.  Don’t let alcohol cause you to be a risk to yourself and others on the road.  Drinking and driving is an act of selfishness.  Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.  If you feel a buzz, you are in no shape to drive.

Party with a plan that does not include alcohol.  There are several recipes on the internet which provide a refreshing drink without the buzz.  Try this one!

Lime Smoothie

Serves 8

Blend the following ingredients in a blender and serve.

  • 1 ½  Cups Orange Juice
  • 4 Scoops lime sherbet
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and chunked
  • 6 Tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 kiwifruits, peeled and halved
  • 2 Cups crushed ice

For the chocolate and mint lover, thy this one!

Mint Chocolate Shake

In a blender, combine the following ingredients and blend for 2 milk shakes

  • 4 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 drop of peppermint extract

Further Instructions:

    Pour into glasses with a sprig of mint and or whipped cream garnish.

    Add additional milk to the blender if a thinner shake is desired. You can also add some additional chocolate syrup if you like.

Here’s one more.

Fruity Green Grape Sangria

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 Quart sized bottle of white or green Grape Juice
  • 1 ¼  Cup of OJ or Tangerine Juice (I love the Tangerine)
  • I Quart of Lemon-Lime Sparkling Water
  • 1 Large Lime, sliced
  • Frozen Green Grapes instead of ice cubes!

Combine liquid ingredients in a punch bowl and add a few lime slices. Place frozen grapes into 6 tall glasses, add the Sangria, and place a sliced lime on the rim of each glass.

Recipe source: www.delishably.com

Closing Thought

Life hath no blessing like a prudent friend – Euripides

 

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