BALTIMORE (WJZ)—St. Patrick’s Day safety. In light of the holiday, the Baltimore County Police Department is beefing up patrols.

As Gigi Barnett explains, one mother is joining forces with officers to make sure the fun stays safe.

Police say the drinking begins early on St. Patrick’s Day. That’s why they’ve beefed up patrols until late Thursday night.

Debbie Hardy’s daughter, Janet Marie, died one week shy of her 14th birthday. Her life was cut short a few days before Halloween.

“A drunk driver was on his way home and he crossed the center line and hit the passenger side of the truck that my daughter was in,” Hardy said.

That fatal crash was nearly eight years ago. Since then Hardy has been on a mission.

“I think ‘What can I do to stop them?’ I might be one person and I don’t have a badge, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t stop them,” Hardy said.

This St. Patrick’s Day Hardy will get some help keeping drunk drivers off of the roads.

Baltimore County Police and several other agencies plan to boost their numbers.

Police say they’re watching and the warning this holiday is clear.

“If you are one that wishes to go out and drive, you’re going to get caught. If you wish to drink, that’s fine. Call a friend. Call a loved one. Take a cab,” said Officer Jonathan Strickler, Baltimore Co. Police Dept.

For Hardy, more patrols are what she wants too for the safety of others.

“What I remind the police officer is the moment you took that drunk driver off the road is the moment you saved a life. Those officers are my heroes,” Hardy said.

Baltimore County Police say they will target well-known DUI and DWI areas. That includes between six and eight major intersections. The officers received a special briefing Thursday morning on field sobriety tests and how to recognize drunk drivers.

The tipsy taxi service will also be out for St. Patrick’s Day. The number to call for a ride is 1-877-963-TAXI.


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