Law enforcement prepares for St. Paddys Day shenanigans

Mar 16, 2016 5:27 PM by News Staff

Chico police department will be increasing its enforcement of impaired driving offenses during the greenest of holidays.

Saint Patrick’s Day always has the potential for large crowds and this year the Chico Police Department is taking necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

March 17th has become one of the nation's deadliest holidays as many raise a toast to their Irish heritage and then get behind the wheel.

Chico Police Lieutenant Rob Merrifield said the celebration is usually a busy event for law enforcement as well.

"It has been in previous years, it's been a major issue for us. We’ve had St. Patrick’s Day celebrations where we made 50, 60 arrests during the day," he said.

Now the Chico Police Department plans to safeguard the lives of locals by deploying saturation patrols.

"We will have officers that are going to be out doing dui enforcement. The avoid team will be out doing some saturation patrols for drunk driving," Merrifield said.

Historically, the holiday is a busy one for the officers, but this year, they aren't anticipating many problems.

Merrifield says the holiday has diminished from what it used to be.

"Now that school is out and many of the students have gone home for the holiday, it definitely makes the event much more manageable for us," he said.

If you do plan on partaking in the St. Paddy's Day festivities Chico Police ask that you make your party reparations.

"Just as we always would, if you know you're going to be out partying that day, just take some steps up front so that you can make sure that you're not going to be driving while you're under the influence,"

And keep in mind...

"From six in the morning on St. Patrick’s Day to six in the morning on the following day, there's a ban on glass containers in the downtown and south campus areas," Merrifield said.

Merrifield also said the number of arrests have been down ever since spring break for Chico State students fell on the same week as St. Patrick ’s Day.


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