True alcohol, from a celebration and consumer aspect is the driving force behind modern day St. Patricks Day, but that's only because the people embrace it. Plenty of Irish people do not drink, and most don't get knock down drunk either, it is a stereotype that can be seen as comical and somewhat positive, so revolving the holiday around fun drinking is not a problem.
ST. Patrick's Day is a day for honoring the Irish. Everyone knows the Irish are traditionally famous for their pubs and their Guinness. So based on Irish tradition, this has turned into a day that is devoted to drinking and eating with friends. The day may seem centered around drinking, but it's also centered around traditional Irish meals, like corned beef and cabbage.
Yes, St. Patrick's Day should be centered around drinking, because that is how the Catholics want to celebrate it. The Catholics want it to be a holiday about drinking. Actually, it is better to have a holiday about drinking than it is to all get some snakes and drive them away, like St. Patrick did.
St. Patrick was one of Ireland's greatest saints, and is drinking excessively holy? It should be remembered for all the good things he did not just drown themselves in alcohol. Is excessive drinking allowed in church? Well of course it is not unless you are in a very strange church, and since he was such a supporter of the religion it should be respected in all activities.
I do not believe St. Patrick's Day should be centered around drinking. I see this holiday as just another commercial holiday created to keep Americans spending. I don't think there's any deep rooted meaning associated with it for those in the United States. It's just an excuse to drink, party, and wear green.