Locals gathered at McCarthy’s Irish Pub in San Luis Obispo after COVID-19 lockdowns canceled the celebration in 2021. Most people decided to keep the tradition of a green garment.
“I have my lucky charms outfit, trying to be creative,” said Jessica Butelo, who was celebrating at McCarthy’s Irish Pub with some friends. “We're out having a good time I have my Guinness.”
Teresa Schmidt has been painting faces for more than 30 years on St. Patrick’s Day except for 2021.
“I’m just glad to be working again,” said Schmidt.
While the energy was high, safety is always first.
“We Ubered down here, but we live 0.8 miles away, so we might walk back, it is important to be safe,” added Butelo.
San Luis Obispo Police has extra officers on patrol and is doubling fines during its safety enhancement zone.
“For something like a noise violation, unruly gathering or urinating in public is $700 to $1000 for a single violation,” explained San Luis Obispo Police Department’s Sgt. Jason Dickel.
California Highway Patrol’s San Luis Obispo Division (CHP SLO) is monitoring highways and roads.
“The truth is a DUI [driving under the influence] can cost you a lot of things for starters it can cost you your driver’s license, it can get a little bit worse and cost you your freedom and beyond that it can cost you your life and possible the life of somebody else,” said Officer Miguel Alvarez, CHP SLO’s Public Information Officer.
Even if you’re not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, authorities recommend keeping a close eye on the road and to call 9-1-1 if there is anything suspicious on the road.
“Inconsistent driving, so that’s going to be weaving from side to side, if they are fluctuating speeds, you see them speeding up and then braking rapidly,” added Officer Alvarez.
This year, during the weekend prior to St Patrick’s Day CHP SLO made seven DUI arrests.
Between March 7-13, 2022 SLO Police arrested 10 people for driving under the influence.
“You should party safe and plan ahead, whenever you can, utilize things like ride share programs or always designate a safe and sober driver, never leave your drinks unattended and as you’re out and about and stay with your friends whenever you can,” said Sgt. Dickel.
When making a report, CHP SLO recommends having a description of the vehicle, which includes color, model and if possible, a license plate number.
SLO Police’s safety enhancement zone will end Friday, March 18 at 7 am.
CHP SLO will also be patrolling throughout the weekend.