Law enforcement agencies ready to stop Saint Patrick’s Day drunk drivers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosiers are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Monday, enjoying various festivities around town.

People lined downtown streets to watch the 34th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. It started at 11:30 p.m. Hoosiers dressed up too, wearing festive St. Patty’s day outfits.

“I just like the crowd, enthusiasm. (It’s) just fun,” Roberta Bellmore said.

Another Hoosier said, watching the parade is a tradition for he and his family.

“It’s a great time and it’s (a) great atmosphere. Even with a little cold, it doesn’t stop anybody from coming out and having fun,” Tommy Datzman said.

While Datzman enjoyed the day, he said he was not sure if he would go out Monday night. Part of the Saint Patrick’s Day tradition, for some Hoosiers, is to party and drink.

Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and they will have roving patrols tonight. Many agencies, including IMPD, worked this weekend on this, knowing there would be plenty of people celebrating the holiday early. IMPD arrested 16 people for OWI this weekend. Agencies want to make Hoosiers are safe and not driving while under the influence.

“We want everybody to go have a good time. We just don’t want them to make that very bad decision to be driving after they’ve been drinking,” IMPD Lt. George Crooks said.

Crooks said people should plan ahead. They should know who will be driving them home after partying. They should either hitch a ride from a cab driver or have a designated driver. Don’t get behind the wheel if you are not sober.

“If we find you, I hope you’re not impaired because if you are, you will be going to jail tonight as in every night,” Crooks said.

Lisa Kuhn said she is responsible on Saint Patrick’s Day. She spent part of her day at Murphy’s with friends, but she planned to make many stops before the night ended. Kuhn said people should not risk it.

“No, I don’t drink and drive. Can’t do it. You (have to have) sober friends that’ll come and get you. You gotta plan in advance,” Kuhn said.