First, there was Chicago and then came Boston and now Philadelphia rounds out the top three list for best St. Patricks’s day celebrations. With 32 million Irish-Americans located stateside, the Irish in Ireland are outnumbered six fold. Around 39 percent of the population in Philly has claimed Irish heritage so it should come as no surprise that the town knows how to party. As the saying goes “it is all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” During St. Paddy’s Day that adage takes on a whole new meaning.

Impaired judgment

Over the years Philadelphia has seen its fair share of mayhem around this unofficial holiday. From stealing an ambulance, to bar fights and almost everything in between, alcohol tends to fuel poor decision making in these situations. Raising a glass in honor of Ireland’s patron saint is lovely, as long as you know when it is time to stop swallowing its green contents. Knowing when you have had too much is one thing, but recognizing it in a friend is another.

How drunk is too drunk?

The line between sleep it off drunk and needing help is a blurry one. A good rule of thumb to follow is: if you are unsure about an intoxicated person’s need for medical attention, call 911 regardless. People who die from overdrinking are often to the point of intoxication in which they lose the ability to use their innate life-preserving skills. In the worst of cases, alcohol can slow breathing down and the person is rendered helpless when trying to regulating their air intake.

There is no exact method for dealing with someone who has had one too many. If the person is conscious and receptive, it may not warrant a trip to the ER. Getting them to a safe place and putting them in a recovery position, so they are not susceptible to choking on their vomit, is the best way to care for someone who went overboard with the hooch.