PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – First, there’s the St. Patrick’s Day Parade through the streets of downtown.
Then, the partying.
People are expected to pack bars and restaurants from the South Side to the North Shore.
Because of that, there will be extra Pittsburgh Police officers on duty. They’ll be looking for impaired drivers.
“We want people to come in and have a good time,” said Pittsburgh Police Cdr. Scott Schubert. “We just want them to be responsible for their actions and get a designated driver, use mass transit.”
According to PennDOT, in the past five years, there have been 203 alcohol-related crashes in the state on St. Patrick’s Day.
Four of those were fatal.
The highest number was in Allegheny County.
“We don’t want somebody getting hurt,” Schubert said. “We don’t want somebody getting killed, so we are going to be out there. We are going to be looking for you and if we find you and you are driving impaired, you are going to jail.”
“Remember that impairment begins with the first drink, so if a server says we’re sorry, don’t fight with them, go home,” added Sheryl Laffey with the Responsible Alcohol Management Program. “You want to be able to come back next year and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”
Something else to keep in mind when you’re out: it’s not just the amount of alcohol you’re consuming, but also the type of drink you’re having.
“One drink doesn’t necessarily mean one drink,” said Cathy Tress with the state DUI Association. “We’ll take a Long Island Ice Tea for instance – that has five different types of alcohol in it, so that’s technically five drinks.”