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San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) officers arrested nine people on suspicion of public intoxication — two related to driving under the influence and two for assault — on St. Patrick’s Day this year, a step down from last year’s arrest tallies.
According to SLOPD records, a total of 38 people were arrested during St. Patrick’s Day in 2013. A majority of those were in connection with public intoxication, SLOPD Capt. Chris Staley said.
Staley attributed this decrease to several factors. Among them were St. Patrick’s Day timing on a Monday during finals week, as opposed to the weekend, as well as SLOPD’s extensive advertising of the double-fine rule through media and posters downtown and on the Cal Poly campus.
“We just tried to get that advertised as much as possible, so that people are at least aware of it,” Staley said about the fines.
These factors ultimately contributed to a calmer St. Patrick’s Day than in the past, Staley said.
“It definitely seemed much, much quieter,” he said. “It was definitely a lot more toned down than it has been in years past.”
But San Luis Obispo “St. Fratty’s Day” event — held the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day — was not as calm.
The St. Patrick’s Day-themed party was held at a residence on Hathaway Street, drawing hundreds of college students.
According to University Police Department (UPD) Chief George Hughes, SLOPD called in UPD as back up to help break up the party.
“It was huge,” Hughes said.
During the party, someone threw a bottle at a UPD officer, but it did not make contact with the officer or anyone else.