SPOKANE, Wash. – Friday is St. Patrick’s Day, which means a lot of green will be seen around town.
There is a lot of fun to be had on the holiday, but law enforcement officers and businesses want to make sure than fun stays safe.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Agency said there is always a spike in drunk driving crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. Between 2011 and 2015, 252 people lost their lives in crashes on the holiday.
Local law enforcement is ramping up patrols this years. Idaho State Police said they will have every available trooper patrolling. They are aiming for heavy saturation, since they consistently see the DUI spike.
The Spokane Police Department said they are increasing patrols, as well, particularly downtown.
Washington State Patrol said they will be especially watchful since the holiday falls on a Friday this year.
The good news? The digital age makes finding a designated driver easier than ever. Apps like Uber and Lyft make sure it is only a touch away.
Here are a few tips from local Uber drivers if you are going that route on St. Patrick’s Day:
• Have the app downloaded and logged in ahead of time. It will be more difficult if you are trying to do it for the first time while intoxicated.
• Know that you are probably going to be fighting crowds since it is a holiday and Eric Church is playing the Spokane Arena.
• Stay safe: Know the make and model of the car you are expecting and the name of your driver.
Regardless of your plans this St. Patrick’s Day, stay safe and have fun.