Increased police patrol ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

Posted at 12:06 AM, Mar 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-15 00:06:11-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR)-- Year after year, despite the same message, drivers going about innocently are killed by those going about irresponsibly.

This is certainly the case on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, one of the deadliest periods of the year on the road.

“Definitely a lot of crazy drivers,” says Will Rosenstock. He’s a delivery driver for Papa’s Pizza and tries to avoid most of the area's hot spots, like Richmond’s Fan District, because of the danger.

“You obviously have to pay a lot closer attention,” says Rosenstock.

Police will be paying closer attention from Thursday night until Monday, with DUI checkpoints at undisclosed locations throughout the region.

One reason why they’re paying closer attention, people start drinking earlier and for longer periods, since the holiday falls on the weekend.

Thursday evening, Chesterfield police were engaged in a high speed chase along I-95, well before the holiday weekend.

Also, this time last year, Henrico police arrested more than 120 drivers at its checkpoints for either driving drunk or recklessly.

“Whatever you do, just don't plan on the luck of the Irish to help you out if you drive drunk this St. Patrick’s Day,” says AAA spokesperson, Martha Meade.

She’s taking her message to the party-goers early as well, reminding those at a Shockoe Bottom bar to make sure they have a ride home if they chose to drink this weekend.

“This is a holiday when unfortunately, we can pretty much predict, people are going to die,” says Meade.