Savannah Police says they saw the fewest number of arrests in years during St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Savannah breathing a sigh of relief after this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“We were relatively quiet in the midst of a very raucous and robust celebration,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

Mayor Van Johnson says attendance numbers were up from 60,000 in 2022 to more than 100,000 this year.

Even with the uptick, Savannah Police reported the fewest number of arrests the department has seen in years with just 12 in the festival zone.

In a statement, SPD Chief Lenny Gunther says in part, “the low arrest totals from this year can be attributed to the more family friendly changes the City of Savannah has made to the annual event.”

The department’s alcohol beverage compliance unit did an undercover check at 44 businesses on Friday and Saturday with 12 failing.

Frozen cocktail chain Fat Tuesday was one of the businesses that came out with a passing grade.

Director Rachel Legers says her stores quadrupled business during their first St. Patrick’s Day weekend with frequent check-ins from police.

“We were approached numerous times between Friday and Saturday night.” said Legers.

“All ID’s were checked. No paper ID’s came through. No expired ID’s, no underage. Everybody was of age that came in and everybody was served correctly and we are so proud of that.”

Mayor Johnson says that operation was necessary during the busiest weekend of the year.

“That is when you get lazy and that is when you slip up.

“There were people that I saw that looked a little suspect in terms of their age. This is the time you want to make sure that everyone’s on game. Everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”

More than 1,000 parking citations were handed out with 58 cars towed from the parade route Friday.

Overall, the city giving itself a stamp of approval for this year’s celebration with preparations soon underway next year’s 200th anniversary.

In addition to the 12 arrests, SPD and Georgia State Patrol arrested 52 people for suspected DUI.

Below is the full list of the businesses who passed or failed the undercover alcohol operation -

The following businesses FAILED during the operation to date:

Chili’s 7805 Abercorn St

Chevron 7203 Abercorn St

Savannah Beverage Mart 8614 White Bluff Rd

Quick Stop 9137 White Bluff Rd

Stop N Go 11204 White Bluff Rd

Olympia Café 5 River St

Jalapenos 7 E Broughton St

Doubletree Hotel Savannah 417 W. Bay St

The Bar Bar 2 W. Julian St

Shiv’s 1713 E. Victory Dr

Dockside Seafood 201 W River St

Water Witch 2220 Bull St

The following businesses PASSED during the operation:

Savannah Mall Shell 14001 Abercorn Street

Shreeji 10325 Abercorn Street

Chu’s BP 7202 Abercorn Street

Huey’s 115 E. River Street

Georgia Tasting Room 306 W. Julian Street

The Cotton Exchange 201 E. River Street

Elan Savannah 301 Williamson Street

El Rocko 117 Whitaker Street

Fat Tuesday 19 E. Bay Street

Victory Station 1102 E Victory Drive

Victory BP 1603 E. Victory Drive

Jim’s Quick Shop 922 Pennsylvania Avenue

In & Out Convenience Store 2102 Bona Bella Avenue

Ganesha Food Mart 3014 Skidaway Road

Wheaton Market 1321 Wheaton Street

Krishna Food Mart 703 Wheaton Street

Vic’s on the River 26 E Bay Street

Plant Riverside District Seafood 500 W River St

Wet Willies 101 E. River Street

River Street Liquor 425 E. River Street

Warehouse 18 E. River Street

The Grove 301 W. Congress St.

Pour Larry’s 206 W. Saint Julian St.

CVS 5401 Abercorn St

Pump-N-Go 201 Montgomery Crossroads

Chevron 401 E. Montgomery Crossroads

Marathon 329 E. Montgomery Crossroads

Savannah Gentlemen’s Club 325 E. Montgomery Crossroads

The Portal 408 W. Broughton St.

Wormhole Bar 2307 Bull St

Green Truck Pub 2430 Habersham St.