ODESSA, Texas — The roads are sure to be packed as people hit the town for some good times this St. Patrick's Day.
Also out on the streets is the Odessa Police Department, who will be on the lookout for St. Patrick's Day enthusiasts who may have gotten a little too excited.
“We are always on the lookout for DWI and for underage drinking parties in general. It isn’t uncommon for us to increase our patrols during the holiday weekends," said Steve LeSueur of the Odessa Police Department. "Especially around New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July, things like that. Also some of the other holiday weekends and also during the graduation weekends from the local high schools.”
It's not just the streets LeSueur and his fellow officers need to look out for.
Underage kids like to get in on the St. Patrick's Day fun, even if they don't meet the drinking age.
However, Odessa has rules in place where someone can get a citation if their house was hosting one of these parties, even if the home owner wasn't present when it went down.
“During the holiday weekends, it’s not uncommon for us to respond to an increased number of underage drinking parties," LeSueur said. "With that being said, it’s also important to remember that we have a social host city ordinance. So if the elements aren’t quite bad for furnishing our code to minor arrests, then we can always issue that citation.”
OPD isn't looking to just hand out tickets or put the cuffs on partiers, even if they see an increased amount of debauchery.
Their goal is the same as it’s always been: keeping the peace and making sure everyone is safe.
“During the holiday weekends, it’s not uncommon for us to see an increase in DWI arrests as well," LeSueur said. "So again, our goal isn’t to make as many arrests or issue as many citations as we can. Our goal is to save lives and prevent people from being seriously hurt.”
If you plan on indulging in St. Patrick's Day celebrations, make sure you have a plan for the night, keep an eye out for other motorists and people on the road, or call an Uber if you’ve had a little too much.