Savannah Police release arrest, citation data from 2021 St. Patrick’s Day season

Savannah Police patrol downtown the week of St. Patrick's Day.
Savannah Police patrol downtown the week of St. Patrick's Day.(WTOC)
Updated: Mar. 22, 2021 at 5:37 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah Police made over 90 arrests and issued 466 citations over the past week, according to a release from the department.

St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Wednesday this year, and Savannah leaders anticipated green-clad revelers would visit the Hostess City for both weekends preceding and after the holiday.

“Our officers were out in full force over the last week in anticipation of visitors to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” said Chief Roy Minter in a statement. “Although the week was not as busy compared to weeks we have seen in the past, it still resulted in a busy week for our officers.”

Savannah Police’s Traffic Unit conducted multiple DUI checkpoints throughout the city with the assistance of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and other law enforcement agencies, according to the release. There were 71 DUI arrests made over the past week, with an additional 14 drug arrests, six felony arrests and one fugitive arrest.

The data signaled a partial return to a normal St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah after celebrations were curtailed in 2020 due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the last year the city hosted traditional celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day, Savannah Police made 90 arrests, including 18 DUIs, during the Festival Weekend from Thursday, March 14, 2019 through Sunday, March 17, 2019. A total of 260 people were arrested across the Coastal Empire, including 81 for DUIs in 2019.

Savannah Police’s Alcohol Beverage Compliance (ABC) Unit also conducted checks at 133 businesses licensed to sell alcohol, according to the release. The ABC Unit issued at least one citation to 55 of these businesses, just over 41 percent. ABC Unit supervisor Sgt. Samantha Stephens said most of these citations were issued for underage sales, followed by “employee training regulations.”

Savannah Police conducted underage operations at 85 of the 133 businesses, and 36 were issued citations, according to the release. Seventeen citations were written for “employee training regulations.” According to city ordinance, all businesses must have their employees who serve alcohol complete training every two years.

Savannah Police also handed out an estimated 27,000 face masks to encourage visitors to comply with the city’s mask mandate, according to the release. Savannah Police also issued four mask ordinance citations. WTOC previously reported that no mask ordinance citations had been issued by Savannah Police as of Tuesday, March 16.

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