Sláinte! Celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day safely with these tips from local law enforcement
RAPID CITY, S.D.– Saint Patrick’s Day is here and before the Guinness and myriad of drinks begin to flow, celebrate responsibly with these tips from the Rapid City Police Department and Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
During the holiday, law enforcement will be maintaining an active presence throughout major parts of Rapid City as people spend the holiday in town. “Between the sheriff’s office, the police department and highway patrol, knowing that it is a holiday, that people are out having fun and consuming beverages like that, we will have more people out there looking for impaired drivers due to the circumstance of it being on a weekend too and more people out and about,” Sergeant Victor Gust from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said. If a driver is pulled over and is significantly under the influence of alcohol, they will be arrested on the spot and will face jail time. In South Dakota, residents face up to one year in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.
You might be unfit to drive if…
As law enforcement members patrol the roads certain signs alert them to drivers that pose a risk to people on the roads, and certain actions such as the inability to walk properly or someone stumbling to their vehicle can key in officers right away. “It could be a multitude of things,” Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Police Department Brendyn Medina said. “Lane driving, weaving, not coming to a stop at stop signs– our officers are pretty dialed into what it looks like when somebody is driving along impaired.”
Plan in advance
One of the best things to do in preparation of the holiday if you are drinking is to plan your ride home once the night is over. According to Medina, there are different ways to do so. “Arrange something with a friend or a family member. Designate a pickup or let them know that you’re going to be reaching out to them at some point, you know, during the day or in the evening before,” he said. “As for a rideshare service, you can schedule those ahead of time. The two popular ones here in town are Lyft and Uber. So, you can look into those apps for the specifics about scheduling those ahead of time.”