March has arrived, which means it’s only a matter of time before people start dying their food green and seeing if there are any Irish-themed festivities in their towns. St. Patrick’s Day may not last as long as Christmas or New Year’s, but some cities in Pennsylvania help make it a holiday plenty of people enjoy celebrating.
Unfortunately, some people celebrate a bit too much. According to WalletHub, March 17 has the third highest drinking rate of the year. With such a significant portion of the nation finding excuses to guzzle down as much alcohol as they can, cops are beginning to prepare their shifts and DUI stops to minimize damage over St. Paddy’s Day. However, recent reports suggest that you should take precautions not just in the few days leading to March 17, but potentially weeks leading up to and after the holiday.
The Center for Traffic Safety recently announced that they are increasing the security around the Adams, Lancaster and York counties between March 8 and March 17. Checkpoints will be placed all over the cities on every day of the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day.
The holiday falls on a Sunday in 2019, which some see as either less or more dangerous. Some believe that being on a Sunday means less people will drink since there is work on Monday, but it is still a weekend day and there have been several DUIs on St. Paddy’s Day and the days surrounding it no matter what day March 17 is.
In 2018, Pennsylvania experienced a 41 percent increase in fatalities for the first half of the year. The higher death count might help explain why police are taking extra precaution around this year’s festivities. St. Patrick’s Day is an especially dangerous time since a high number of pedestrians and drivers will be severely intoxicated.
Even though St. Patrick’s Day takes place on one day a year, law enforcement has made it publicly known that they are keeping a close lookout for nearly 2 weeks. This means that you need to consider your driving options very carefully in the days building up to it to avoid getting in trouble with them. Have a designated driver or ride service on hand if you and your friends decide to take a quick trip to the local bar one night.
This should also serve as a warning for every major holiday of the year whether it’s heavily associated with drinking or not. Officers are aware that not everyone celebrates these holidays on the exact days they happen.
Unfortunately, police being on high alert for such a long period of time means that they may pull over people who weren’t breaking the law or demonstrating any suspicious driving habits. If an officer wrongfully arrested you or a friend around a holiday, consider contacting a local criminal defense attorney to prove that an officer shouldn’t have pulled you over.