Colorado Springs police to have extra patrols on duty for St. Patrick’s Day weekend
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Springs Police Department plans to have four extra patrols on duty on Friday and Saturday night to promote and enforce traffic safety for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Police said that the patrols will focus not only on downtown -- where many bars and nightclubs are -- but across the city, as well.
“We’ve found that most of the drunk driving citations on this holiday happen on the busier streets such as Powers Boulevard,” said police spokesman Robert Tornabene.
Foot patrols from the police department's Downtown Area Response Team (DART) also will be on duty, watching for patrons and pedestrians who are intoxicated.
“St. Patrick’s Day is a time when we see more people coming out to drink, who don’t at other times of the year,” Tornabene explained. “And this happens to be a four-day weekend for the soldiers at Fort Carson, too. “
A manager at Jack Quinn's Irish Pub downtown, said she didn't know about the Mountain Post's extended weekend.
"It's already been very busy for us," Meredith Klube explained. "We had our 25th anniversary Thursday night, and the weekend is also likely to be busy. Our staff is pretty careful and we're certified. We're careful about who we let into the pub. But if someone seems like it's not going so well, we'll definitely stop serving them alcohol and try to get them to eat. But our #1 goal is to get everyone home safely."
Lauren Youngquist, her sister, Courtney and their friend, Hannah Erickson are college students on Spring Break and don't have much experience with adult celebrations on the holiday.
Yet, as they stood in the line to enter Jack Quinn's, they said that they have a safety plan in place.
"We're just going to have one beer, then walk around and see downtown for a few hours," they said. "Then, we'll drive up to Denver, park at a friend's place and take an Uber to and from the clubs."
The popularity of ride sharing services like Uber has led many establishments to offer discounts for using them, as an incentive to return home safely.
A more experienced reveler said that he's found St. Patrick's Day crowds to be well-behaved.
"I haven't had too many problems," he said. "Most of the time, the folks in the Springs are pretty responsible and they make sure they're getting a designated driver -- or one of the many ways to get home, with an Uber or something. So, in my experience, most people are doing the right thing."
The drinking started early, as Jack Quinn's opened for breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday; but Connie Sylvia said that she was there more for the music, and the corned beef and cabbage.
"But I like my green beer," she confessed.
Police ask that you avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol.
“Don’t drink too much and be responsible,” Tornabene advised.
Downtown has become much safer and enjoyable since authorities and businesses took additional security measures 15 years ago, after violent period that led to the area being called "The Wild West."