INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – If you plan on going downtown for St. Patrick’s Day, local law enforcement will also be joining you. An IMPD spokesperson says the agency will be stepping up patrols and enforcement over the weekend.
“You’re going to see an increased uniform presence, your also going to have a tactical, or covert presence. And those things are there to mitigate any kind of danger to you. We won’t talk about those but they’re there,” IMPD Sgt. Christopher Wilburn said.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to downtown bars and eateries over the weekend for a combination of St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness festivities. Wilburn says that can mean an increase in heavy drinking, fights and drunk driving.
“These are things people can stop, these are things that people have control over. So this isn’t to brow beat anybody at all, this is to let people know hey we’re having fun yea, this is Indianapolis and we have a great time having fun, however, we want people to be very cognizant that you can’t make conscientious decisions, wise decisions and choices, under the influence of alcoholic beverages,” He said.
Wilburn says the goal of the increased presence isn’t to stop people from having fun, but to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday responsibly.
State police are also stepping things up.
According to ISP, St. Patrick’s Day last year weekend had the highest number of crashes involving impaired drivers. The agency will be conducting checkpoints in Marion County and Hamilton County over the weekend and increasing patrols throughout the rest of the month.
“If you decide to drive drunk, getting arrested is the least of your worries, but if you hit somebody or hurt somebody, or are involved in a crash. Even if the crash isn’t your fault, and you’re found to be intoxicated, it’s not going to go well for you,” ISP Sgt. John Perrine said.