Bar Owners Often Best Defense Against Drunk Driving

While it may not be 80 degrees like it was last year, it hasn't stopped business from booming for bars across the area.

"We have seen numbers jump maybe about 200% last year and another 20% this year so it has definitely been great." Said Tyler Vogt, Co-Owner of Malarkey's Pub in Wausau.

It's arguably the biggest night of the year for bars like Malarkey's. However with big business comes big responsibility. In Tyler's case, its about making sure his customers get home safely. He says the key is to make designated drivers feel valued.

"We have a lot of sober drivers. We give them free sodas or get them in the door for free if they are taking care of some of their friends or other customers of ours. Once in a while we will even take care of their vehicles for them to make sure they don't get ticketed. Whatever we can do to make people feel more comfortable about leaving their car here." Vogt said.

While the majority of bar owners do work hard to prevent people from getting behind the wheel after drinking, its impossible to stop everyone. That is why the police department says that if you think you see someone driving drunk, you should never feel afraid to say something. It could save a life.

"If you see someone out on the road that is exhibiting signs of being a person who is not able to handle their vehicle, in other words intoxicated, they should call the police at 911 and report what they are seeing. " says Lt. Michael Juedes of the Wausau Police Department.

So, the advice to remember this St. Patrick's Day is that its OK to go out, enjoy a good meal with friends and perhaps even a bit of Irish whiskey, but just make sure you have a designated driver or other plans in place before you attempt to drive home.


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