Police say DUI enforcement will be in full effect St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:13 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Police are gearing up for thousands of partiers to gather downtown following the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

And with the crowds comes a change in how Savannah Police will patrol city streets.

While hundreds of thousands gather in the Hostess City for St. Patrick’s Day 2 miles west of downtown response teams are watching over crowds from their Emergency Command Center.

“Decisions get made on how we’re going to respond to it. What units we’re going to send to it. We can adjust light timing from here for traffic flow, we can order barricades to areas and things like that. So, it’s going to depend on the issue,” Sgt. Jason Pagliaro, Savannah Police said.

This is a different location from years past but it’s still equipped with street cameras and traffic maps that allow officers to monitor key areas in Savannah.

It’s been a busy day for the more than 200 savannah police officers patrolling the streets.

The department helped with Irish fighter Connor McGregor’s security detail in the parade.

Pop: Let’s go Savannah.

And assisted with a parade participant who fell from a float.

That person was taken to an area trauma center.

The department says so far they aren’t aware of any arrests and 51 cars were towed to clear the parade.

And now as night approaches, Savannah police says they’re shifting patrol efforts.

“It focuses less on traffic control and crowd control and more on inebriated people, fights, things like that.”

And while thousands are expected to be out at city bars and restaurants others are leaving town altogether.

“Oh no, we’re getting out of here before tonight. We don’t want to see tonight,” Visiting from Maine Bruce Wauph said.

The Savannah Police Department says the Emergency Command Center will stay open until the final partier goes home.

It’s expected to open back up once people head downtown to bars and restaurants Saturday.