St. Patrick's Day celebrations kick off, Valley law enforcement gear up for extra patrol

The California Highway Patrol is working alongside other police agencies across the Valley, including Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Visalia, and more.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This St. Patrick's Day, local restaurants are serving up green beer and corned beef hash.

At the same time, law enforcement across the Central Valley are adding extra enforcement and looking for anyone who is driving under the influence.

At Mad Duck restaurant at Campus Pointe, drinks were flowing Wednesday afternoon as guests enjoyed corned beef and cabbage.

"We wanted to get people back in the party mood after a long year, so I think this is a good way to do that." Jared Micheli, the general manager of Mad Duck, said.

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The restaurant decorated for the celebration and was serving up festive food and drinks.

Guest seating is outdoor only because of county restrictions, but regardless, the restaurant was hoping to provide a safe place for guests to celebrate.

"We wanted to make sure that we were following the rules and still doing the right thing while also providing the public of Fresno an outlet to have fun, relax for a couple hours and just maybe forget about things," said Micheli.

As restaurants geared up to serve guests, law enforcement was keeping an eye out for people breaking the law.

"There's no luck of the Irish when it comes to impaired driving," said Officer Mike Salas with the California Highway Patrol.

On Saint Patrick's Day in 2019, seven people were killed and 116 others were injured across the state in crashes caused by drivers who were under the influence.

"If you're going to be out there even consuming one alcoholic beverage, make sure you make that choice ahead of time make sure you designate that sober driver, make that call for a ride home safely." Officer Salas said.

The California Highway Patrol is working alongside other police agencies across the Valley including Fresno, Clovis, Sanger, Visalia, and more.

"Having all of us out there in a combined effort to look for impaired drivers is very important to the public," said Lt. Beckwith.

Officials said anyone who is drinking and getting behind the wheel is putting the public at risk. They remind drivers a DUI arrest can lead to up to $15,000 in related costs.

"Getting behind the wheel after you've been drinking is a choice." Lt. Beckwith said.

Fresno Police said they will be looking for those who make that that choice through a saturation patrol Wednesday night. Due to COVID, Fresno Police Department is not doing DUI and driver's license checkpoints, instead, officers all across the city will be looking for impaired driving.
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