AAA reminds pedestrians and drivers to be careful during St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness Celebration

HARTFORD – For the first time in awhile, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday. Bars all across the country were packed with people this weekend who were out celebrating the luck of the Irish.

Roads were busy in Connecticut since people were also celebrating the NCAA tournament also known as March Madness.

One of the most popular bars in Downtown Middletown called Celtic Cavern was busier than ever as party-goers were decked out in green.

“You know, between food and drinks and people bar hopping in Middletown, the town has become a really cool bar hopping area. There’s lots of bars here. The sheer volume plus it being a Saturday and this year for the first time in a while,” said Brandon Warren, owner of Celtic Cavern.

Warren said his bartender instincts always kicks in during the holidays.

“Walking in the door, you can kind of tell sometimes. Are they hooting and hollering? Have they been out for a long time or are they just kind of walking in saying hey, let’s have a drink,” added Warren.

AAA is strongly reminding everyone to plan to have a designated driver or take an Uber home. They said nationwide, people driving under the influence are on the rise especially from 2012 to 2016.

“Over the last couple of years over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, more than 250 people across the country have been killed in alcohol-related crashes,” said Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA.

Bar crawlers are urged to keep an eye out for cars, cross at intersections and obey walk signals.

“If you’re planning to drink, plan not to drive,” added Parmenter.

If you do get caught drinking and driving, it can result in losing your driver’s license, being in jail or death … all of which are preventable.