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Published March 16, 2012, 06:44 PM

Metro authorities to step up patrols for St. Patrick's Day

Fargo-Moorhead (WDAY TV) - If you are planning to head out to take part in all the St. Patrick's Day festivities there are some things you should know. Since the holiday normally involves excessive amounts of alcohol, police from both Moorhead and Fargo are stepping up patrol.

If you are planning to head out to take part in all the St. Patrick's Day festivities there are some things you should know. Since the holiday normally involves excessive amounts of alcohol, police from both Moorhead and Fargo are stepping up patrol.

The St. Patrick's holiday has not fallen on a weekend since 2007. If you add this with the amazing weather we should be seeing, it could make for a dangerous weekend.

Sgt Deric Swenson – Moorhead Police: :When it falls on a Saturday people have all day just to celebrate unlike when it is on a weekday, a lot of times what we are having is people that are going to be getting off work and going out for that evening.”

In Minnesota in 2007, 527 motorists were arrested for DWI and all three traffic deaths were alcohol related. On a typical two day period in Minnesota, 170 motorists are arrested for DWI.

Sgt. Deric Swenson: “Our patrols tomorrow, you know even our day shift where we are used to just taking our calls tomorrow we will be looking more specifically for traffic enforcement and watching those road ways.”

The Fargo Police Department will also be stepping up patrol for DWI enforcement but another main thing they will be looking out for is people walking around these streets with open containers and acting in a disorderly way.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “In these types of events often times it's one of the major issues that happen, people do become intoxicated and end up wandering the street possibly with an open container.”

If you are spotted with an open container you will be given a citation and it could lead to an arrest depending on the circumstances. Disorderly conduct typically leads to an arrest.

Lt. Joel Vettel: “Most people in the books have what's called disorderly conduct or similar charges where somebody's behavior is harassing, annoying, or alarming to others around them.”

Both departments will be increasing patrols with an additional 2 officers during the day and several more at night. Swenson and Vettel say you should make plans before heading out to insure everyone will stay safe and stay out of jail.

St. Patrick's Day has been safer in recent years on non-weekend years. In the last 3 years there were seven deaths and only one was alcohol related.

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