For many people, St. Patrick’s Day is a time for celebration – whether they have Irish ancestry or not. This celebrating often includes drinking alcohol, as it is the fourth most popular drinking holiday in the U.S., behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Independence Day.

In Ohio and throughout the United States, people drink too much on St. Patrick’s Day and make the unfortunate decision to drive drunk. If you get pulled over for an OVI or serious car accident can put a tragic end to your celebration. Learn ways to plan ahead of the celebrations this year and how to protect yourself if you are arrested.

An OVI conviction can come with serious consequences, including heavy fines, jail time and a loss of your driver’s license. And if you are in an accident, serious injuries or even fatalities can be involved. On St. Patrick’s Day, fatal alcohol-related car crashes occur about every 72 minutes. And 75 percent of these crashes involve drivers who drank twice the legal limit.

Instead of driving on St. Patrick’s Day, plan alternative transportation. An Uber, Lyft or taxi is just a phone call away, and is much better than ending up in the back of a police car. Public transportation may also be available, depending on where you choose to celebrate.

If you do get pulled over and arrested for an OVI, on St. Patrick’s Day or any other time, remember you have legal rights. This includes the right to hire an attorney, who can fight for your best interest in all criminal matters and with driver’s license issues.