Christchurch Police say it's a stressful enough time for many Cantabrians without turning to alcohol or illicit drugs.
"The answer is not in the bottom of a bottle," says Sergeant Al Lawn, head of the city's alcohol strategy and enforcement team. "We've lost enough people in the Earthquake. As we head into the recovery phase we don't want to lose anyone else through over indulging in drink.
"Now more than ever is a time for people to look after each other and to make safe and responsible choices when they drink. Don't let alcohol or drugs impair your judgement."
Police expect that St Patrick's Day will be a busy one in suburban bars and hotels, followed by Friday's Memorial Service and local public holiday.
Patrols will be visible across the city and suburbs in the coming days and weeks, with a big focus on alcohol, public safety, family violence and traffic offending.
With the inner city's bars and nightclubs still shut there's no doubt that the suburban pubs and bars are attracting greater numbers.
"It's like Cup Day every day," Sergeant Lawn says. "The local bars are providing fantastic venues for people in their communities. They're places where people are gathering to tell their stories or to grieve over a coffee or a few drinks.
He says police are working with licensees to ensure the hotels and bars, many of which were not designed as nightclubs, know their host responsibilities and have sufficiently trained staff to deal with increased trade.
"If you're going to have a drink, be responsible about it. Make informed decisions about your safety and those around you.
"We don't want your judgement to be so alcohol or drug impaired that you're unable to look after the people you care about most - whether it's in the home, in a bar, on the street or driving on the roads."
Some useful tips:
• have some food and non alcoholic drinks available
• be responsible and moderate your alcohol consumption
• ensure you have safe transport options home
• don't be tempted to drink and drive.
Christchurch Media Liaison Team: 027 432 0960 or ChchPoliceMediaLiason@police.govt.nz
Public Affairs: 04 460 2986 or 04 474 9482