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St. Patrick’s Day Partying Leads To Near-Record Arrests In Cedar Rapids

Teenage boy (16-17) being arrested
Doug Menuez

Oh, St. Patrick’s Day. The allure of festive drinking each year pulls in many, with mass amounts of people deciding to start early. Of course for some, that leads to not the smartest of decisions, and last night ended up a costly one for many.

The Linn County Sheriff’s office has confirmed there were 13 DUI arrests last night and 17 public intoxication arrests. That’s 30 alcohol related incidents being processed through the Linn County Jail last night. We spoke with Sheriff Gardner who stated that they over-staffed last night, but are considering increasing that even more for next year. He also stated that St. Patrick’s Day is one of the worst days of the year for alcohol-related incidents (thanks to the allure of starting early) and is comparable to New Year’s Eve. He was unsure if this was a record high for the holiday, but agreed it was an excessive number.

It’s just another reminder that if you’re going to drink, be responsible, or it might cost you. The police are out there watching, which Sheriff Gardner also confirmed is especially true through the weekend. As we told you earlier this week, patrols are increased through Saturday as part of what is called a “S.T.E.P. wave” (Selected Traffic Enforcement Program).  A couple of times a year, there is state money granted to local law enforcement to increase patrols, as they check for basic to severe violations. They look for anything from driving without a license or insurance and seat belt violations, to driving while intoxicated violations. These usually happen over holiday weekends such as this. In short: Be Smart, Stay Safe.


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