Police increasing DUI patrols on St. Patrick’s Day weekend

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Bars will be busy this St. Patrick’s Day weekend. If you are out celebrating, think before you get behind the wheel. Police are increasing patrols this weekend and looking for people under the influence.

According to PennDOT, there have been 182 alcohol related crashes on March 17th and six fatalities in the past four years.

“We see more DUI’s and more lives lost because of it, so we are trying to be proactive and get the word out,” said Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman. “When you drink and drive you are risking your own life. Worse is when you are risking the people on the other side of the road and there is a lot of drinking that is going to go on this weekend.”

Police around the area will have sobriety checkpoints and roving DUI patrols. Officials around the region warn, if you decide to drive drunk, you will pay the price.

Scott Wrenn is the general manager of the Capitol Gastropub on Second Street. He also runs the nearby Bridges Social Club. They are expecting big crowds.

“We are hoping that everyone has a good time and gets home safely,” Wrenn said. “We have no problem walking people outside. There are people downtown who get intoxicated. We will get you a ride home and come outside and sit with you and give you a little bread to straighten you out a little bit.”

Craig Dunkle never takes chances.

“Reach out to a friend or family member,” Dunkle said. “I think the role of the designated driver has kind of diminished because it is so easy to get on a phone and get an Uber in Harrisburg on a weekend can get there in about five minutes or less.”

A DUI conviction can cost as much as $10,000, plus jail and losing your license.

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