As finals approach and winter quarter comes to an end, St. Patricks day is celebrated by students at the crack of dawn. Popularly referred to as ‘St Fratty’s Day,’ the streets surrounding campus flood with students dressed in green and bars in Downtown San Lus Obispo open at 6 a.m.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) is enforcing double fines, as they have done for several years, beginning Saturday, March 17 from 12 a.m. to Monday, March 18 at 7 a.m.
What do double fines look like?
In addition to being arrested, a drunk in public violation starts at $507 and an open container violation is $700. Similarly, the fine is $700 for urination in public.
Driving under the influence carries a minimum of $5,000 fine and unruly gatherings start at $1,000. A noise violation is $700 for the first citation.
SLOPD said they will be enforcing a zero tolerance policy for noise violations, open containers and being drunk in public.
On St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2015, SLOPD made 66 arrests. In 2016, 46 arrests were made with 47 in 2017. Last year, numbers were down as SLOPD made 38 arrests.
SLOPD Arrests Made During St. Patrick's Day Weekend
SLOPD Lt. John Villanti estimated the number of arrests on a normal weekend are less than 50 percent the arrests made during the celebratory weekend.
While arrests increase dramatically, Villanti said it is hard to determine which arrests were made in direct relationship to St. Fratty’s.
When asked what he would say to students celebrating, Villanti said students should have fun, be safe and use a designated driver if they choose to drink.