We may not be in Ireland, but many in the Grand Valley are feeling Irish as they gear up for St. Patty's Day Celebrations around town. While Tuesday night is about having fun, authorities say it should also be about staying safe.
Bring out the corned beef and cabbage and get the green beer flowing -- local bars say St. Patrick's Day is all about having fun. Old Chicago is gearing up for a St. Patty's Day bash complete with drink and food specials, giveaways, and an appearance by a leprechaun.
"Our staff just loves this holiday," said Cori Elam, Bar Manager of Old Chicago. "We get into it and we have a good time."
And they're not alone. Rockslide is having a party of its own, with green drinks all night and an Irish band.
"We definitely have fun," said Kyle Wagner. "It gets a little crazy sometimes, but St. Patty's Day is always a good time."
But they say make sure that good time doesn't turn into a bad one.
"One of the main things we want to make sure of when people come out today is that they secure a safe ride home or they use a designated driver service or the taxis around town," said Elam.
"Take care of yourself, don't do anything stupid," said Wagner. "There's gonna be a lot of cops out and a lot of checkpoints."
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says that's exactly what will be going on.
"We will have additional patrols out today as well as the DUI checkpoint tonight," said Heather Benjamin, spokesperson for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Officials say for the past week, all local law enforcement has been stepping up efforts to crack down on DUI drivers. The Sheriff's Office says since they started those increased patrols, they've made only two DUI arrests.
"I would say that's probably a good sign that people are listening, that they are paying attention," said Benjamin.
With five recent fatal crashes that were all caused by alcohol, authorities say they really hope that's the case. While they too want everyone to have fun, they just ask that you have it responsibly.
"They will be out and they will be looking for DUIs tonight," said Benjamin. "Just be safe and be smart."
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