March 10th, 2014. With thousands of parade-goers due to line city streets, next Saturday, March 16, Éduc’alcool and the United Irish Societies of Montreal are celebrating the event by introducing the Montreal 2014 St. Patrick’s Day Survival Guide, intended to remind people who choose to drink to do so in moderation.

The guide will help people make the most of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, while reminding them to pace themselves and refrain from drinking excessively at and around the parade and other celebrations and events.

The Survival Guide is available at SAQ outlets in the Greater Montreal area, as well as at a number of colleges and universities. The City of Montreal, other municipalities on the island and the Montreal Police Department are also helping distribute the guide, as are most Irish pubs.

Necessary action

“On St. Paddy’s Day, all Quebecers become Irish; alcohol sales and consumption reach peak levels. Éduc’alcool has therefore joined forces with the United Irish Societies of Montreal to help everyone enjoy a safe and pleasurable experience. Immersing yourself in all that’s Irish is great fun, but emulating the drunken stereotype can really turn a brilliant day sour,” commented Hubert Sacy, Éduc’alcool’s Director General.

“We all agree that alcohol has its rightful place at this time of celebration. Unfortunately, some people use the event as an excuse to drink excessively. We do not condone this behaviour and hope the Survival Guide, which promotes moderate drinking, will contribute to a safe and enjoyable day. Getting drunk, even just once, even on St. Patrick’s Day, is once too often. No matter what the circumstances, moderation is always in good taste,” added Sacy.

Moderation is always in good taste.

“The United Irish Societies of Montreal is extremely happy to partner with Éduc’alcool to help spread the word about responsible drinking. We are so proud that Montrealers and Quebecers in general come out to celebrate all things Irish with us on St. Patrick’s Day and on parade day. We ask only that everyone celebrates in a safe, healthy and responsible way,” said Kevin Murphy, Vice President, Advertising & Public Relations, of the United Irish Societies of Montreal.

For his part, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre noted that the City was pleased to lend its full support to this joint Éduc’alcool and United Irish Societies initiative. “The St. Patrick’s Day parade is a fine opportunity to celebrate a cultural heritage that is so deeply intertwined with Montreal’s history. And every time I have participated in St. Patrick’s Day events, I have noted that the vast majority of Montrealers and visitors rejoice responsibly and drink moderately,” he said.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kicked off on February 18 with the raising of the Irish flag at Place Ville Marie and continue through March 29 with the Award Banquet and dinner dance. There are numerous free events taking place across Quebec, including Montreal’s 191st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on St. Catherine Street on Sunday, March 16. Quebec City’s fifth St. Patrick’s Day Parade is on March 22. Hudson’s fifth parade is on March 15 and Châteauguay’s tenth is on March 23.

Éduc’alcool’s tips for getting home safely

  • Eat. And we mean more than a bag of chips between drinks. This is a feast day after all, so eat a decent meal before you start drinking.
  • Round, round, baby…Not everyone drinks at the same pace so it’s OK to skip a round or not have a drink at all. Try and limit rounds to 2 or 3 friends. And stop drinking when you’ve had enough.
  • Water. It may not be the most exciting beverage, but a glass of water between alcoholic drinks will keep you refreshed and hydrated.
  • Time. It’s easy for one drink with your mates to turn into many more. Give yourself good reason not to spend the whole day drinking assorted green drinks. Make concrete plans for the next day, and pace yourself to make sure that you’re ready to follow through on them.
  • The morning after. Even after “sleeping it off,” even after all the alcohol you’ve drunk has been metabolized by your body, even if your blood alcohol content is back to zero, you might still not be in full possession of your faculties. Can excessive drinking have extended your effects? You bet!