By: Christine Souders
St. Patrick's Day Weekend has become synonymous with green beer and binge drinking.and that can be dangerous in more ways than one.
We've got some tips on how to celebrate St. Patty's day, and stay safe at the same time.
"Oh I'm always Irish for St. Pat's," said Kristen Balinski, who is celebrating the holiday, and has the excuse many people have when it comes to drinking over St. Patrick's day weekend.
But people we talked to said they have a plan for staying out of harms way.
"We always make sure we have friends who owe us a favor to give us a ride home," said Balinski.
"It's not worth the cost to get caught," said Geraldine Croquart who said even though her kids are grown up, she's reminding them to play it safe this weekend.
"They've called us up before. We've gone out to pick them up."
So what are the tall tale signs you've had a few too many?
"Too much alcohol is when it renders you not functioning logically or becoming impaired physically," said Doctor Randall Bay who said especially during the holidays there's an up tick in ER patients with alcohol poisoning, and he said time is the only cure for sobering up.
"People have the sense that if they take a cold shower, if they walk around outdoors where it's cold, if they have coffee or caffeine that they'll be able to get themselves back into the position where they become sober more quickly, but they can't. It's the body that detoxifies it and you have to be patient and sometimes you have to pay the penalty the next day."
Dr. Bay said a portable breathalyzer you can pick up at a store is useful to carry around when you plan to drink, and if you have a smart phone, you can download an app that can help calculate if you're above the legal limit.
The Scott County Sheriff's Department is warning drivers, if you plan to have a few, you better think twice before getting behind the wheel.
Police said if you're going out on the town make sure you have a designated driver, or use other methods to get home, like taking a ride on 'The Loop' which will be picking people up all weekend, or calling a cab.
Because if you drive, you could still get busted, even if you are 'technically' under the legal limit.
"You can be charged with operating while intoxicated if an officer can show impairment, even though their score is not at a .08 or over," said Chief Deputy Mike Brown.
Police said not only is it dangerous to drive while intoxicated, but it could cost you a couple thousand dollars in fines.