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Police Urge Those Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day To Do So Responsibly

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — St. Patrick’s Day weekend is underway and Baltimore City Police are out in full force to keep the festivities under control.

Rochelle Ritchie has more on how police are increasing the number of officers on the streets.

Baltimore City Police are hoping to keep the problems to a minimum by putting more officers on the streets and adding more DUI checkpoints.

The city of Baltimore is bleeding green as hundreds celebrate the Irish heritage. And while many will celebrate safely, others could find themselves in trouble with the law.

“Roadways in and around Baltimore will be heavily patrolled by foot and motorized units,” said Col. Garnell Green.

Baltimore City Police are hoping to avoid any repeat incidents from last year, such as when the celebration turned violent for a man who was beat up, robbed and stripped of his clothing.

In Canton, the cops’ presence is certainly noticed.

“Absolutely, there’s definitely a lot more police in the area. You see them all in every corner, so there’s definitely more than last year for sure,” said Mike Mills.

But some say that won’t stop the possibility of violence.

“I don’t think it’s unique to this area. I think it can happen anywhere. When people are drinking and there’s this many people out, it’s bound to happen,” said Mike Katunick.

Baltimore City Police are not being lenient when it comes to open alcoholic beverages on the streets. It’s a $250 fine.

DUI checkpoints will be spread across the city. Baltimore City Police are teaming up with Maryland State Troopers and Maryland Transportation Authority Police to ensure everyone’s safety.

“A designated driver is not the most sober person in your group. A designated driver is the person in your group who has had nothing to drink and is alert and capable of driving an automobile,” said Lt. Col. A.J. McAndrew.

Baltimore City Police will also be enforcing the juvenile curfew, which says teenagers under 17 must be inside at midnight.

Police are blocking off several streets to keep crowds under control this weekend.

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