Police share tips in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day festivities

RPD’s tips in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day festivities

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Scott’s Addition and Shockoe Bottom will be seas of green beginning Saturday morning, as St. Patrick’s Day celebrations kick off.

The annual “Shamrock The Block” and “Sine’s Irish Pub’s Saint Patrick’s Day Street Festival” will close off parts of some major roadways, leading to delays and headaches.

While the festival doesn’t kick off until noon, parking enforcement begins prior to that:

On the Boulevard, no parking zones will be enforced starting at 5:30 a.m. Saturday, and they have already taken effect by noon Friday in Shockhoe Bottom.

“Move your car to a safe location that night before because you don’t want to get up around 5 a.m. or 4 a.m.," said Chelsea Rarrick of Richmond Police.

Rarrick said the main thing to keep in mind if you do happen to be behind the wheel tomorrow – be patient.

“Plan a little extra ahead, maybe take some alternate routes," she adds.

The main roads to look out for are outlined on the map above, including spots like North Boulevard between West Moore Street, West Broad Street, West Leigh Street, and West Clay Street between North Boulevard and Altamont Avenue, among other roadways.

But for those who find themselves on the streets with some festive beverages in hand, pack some walking shoes, or at least another person to take the wheel.

“There’s really no excuse for anyone to be drinking and driving, when there’s so many options available today. There’s the pulse, there’s ride share. Find a sober ride home, if you have a friend who’s not drinking,” Rarrick said.

She adds that police will be present and alert at both events in Scott’s Additon and Shockoe Bottom - and monitoring for any people driving under the influence.

“You could be looking at fines, you could be looking at possible jail time," she said.

Finally, Rarrick advises that especially on days like tomorrow, not to keep your valuables in your car so there’s no risk of them being stolen – as festivals are prime time for any brazen thieves.

The map of road closures and other info is available on RPD’s website.

Virginia State Police are also sending warnings about the dangers of drinking and driving.

U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 60 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Paddy’s Day weekend in 2016.

The NHTSA says to use the following safety precautions during the celebrations:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
  • Don't ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
  • Always buckle up. It’s your best defense against drunk drivers.

They also have tips on how to keep everyone safe if you’re hosting a party.

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.
  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.
  • Don't ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.
  • Always buckle up. It’s your best defense against drunk drivers.

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