St. Patrick's Day is Thursday and it is the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when people on the Central Coast are celebrating a little bit more normally.
“Generally downtown, we'll see that it's fairly busy; increased crowds, line starting early in the morning. This year, it happens to fall on Thursday, which is a farmer's market night, so we're hoping that things are well, so maybe start that again," said Lieutenant Robert Cudworth of the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
He says over the weekend, people were celebrating but there were no major incidents.
“So looking back at the events over the weekend, it really started to see it come back to what pre-COVID was. It wasn't too open, say unmanageable. Crowds were respectful and that we were able to handle things in any situations that came up without too much of an incident,” Cudworth said.
Officers remind people to know their limits and to be safe. If they are too intoxicated, they could end up harming someone else or themselves or land in jail for public intoxication.
The California Highway Patrol is also gearing up for Thursday. “Living in a college town, we have a lot of underage college students in the area. Just wanted to reiterate the fact that zero in California had zero tolerance for drinking and driving if you're under the age of 21. So just again, just being responsible, making wise choices this weekend would be my number one recommendation,” CHP Officer Miguel Alvarez said.
They plan to send out extra patrols on Thursday; however, this is not part of a statewide Maximum Enforcement Period.
“We were definitely busy. Plenty of DUI arrests this weekend. I don't, I wouldn't say we experienced too many, an elevated amount of crashes, but definitely a little bit of reckless driving going on this weekend. Just some poor choices that might have been made and some people obviously ended up in handcuffs and were taken to the county jail for some for driving under the influence of alcohol,” added Officer Alvarez.
In 2021, SLO CHP arrested four people for DUI the weekend before St. Patrick's Day. This year, they arrested seven.