ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - Bay Area bars are preparing for St. Patrick's Day weekend and so is local law enforcement, warning drivers to be safe and not to get behind the wheel if you're impaired.
With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, it’s going to be a weekend long of celebrations, which is why the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is coordinating a wolf pack with multiple police departments starting at 7 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. Sunday.
Courigan’s Irish Pub in St. Pete is preparing to see green.
“We’re staffed with 35 people just for that one day," Courigan's Head Chef Barbara Burton said. "We have people that work for us seasonal every year. It’s just a big, big production.”
If you’re going to be drinking, don’t push your luck and get behind the wheel.
“We certainly want people to be able to celebrate," St. Petersburg Police Department Public Information Officer Yolanda Fernandez said. "However, we just ask that you do it responsibly which means decide on your transportation and who’s going to drive. If you’re driving, monitor your alcohol intake.”
St. Pete police and neighboring agencies are working with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on coordinating a so-called wolf pack starting Saturday night through Sunday morning.
It means there will be extra patrols watching for drunk drivers.
“The whole goal is just to keep you safe," Fernandez said. "And keep everyone safe on the road.”
Police are encouraging people to take advantage of ride-sharing services, public transportation and programs like AAA's Tow-To-Go, which offers a free ride to the driver and their vehicle.
Meanwhile, Burton is preparing for Courigan's massive St. Paddy’s Day block party. Last year's event drew huge crowds. The bar served corn beef and Guinness to a few hundred people.
“Everyone comes dressed up in their green and different outfits," Burton said. "They even bring their pets dressed up. It’s just a fantastic day.”
Last year, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office issued a total of 56 citations during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, including 12 DUI arrests and one arrest for driving with a suspected license.