Thousands of people flock to Savannah each year to take part in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. There is always a good deal of celebrating, both at the downtown parade and at Savannah’s many Irish pubs. However, along with the celebrations come the inevitable arrests. More people are arrested on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah than on any other day of the year.
Here are some ways to avoid an arrest on St. Patrick’s Day:
1) You can expect police checkpoints, especially around Tybee Island and in the Port Wentworth area. These checkpoints are set up to look for impaired drivers, and they lead to hundreds of DUI arrests. If you will be driving around Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day, you can be sure that you will come across at least one. If you do, it is best to remember that you have the right to remain silent and refuse everything. If an officer asks if you have been drinking alcohol, you are well within your rights to refuse to answer. You will be glad you did.
2) Avoid having too many people in your car. Police officers are trained to look at vehicles and determine if there are too many people riding in one car. That is a great reason for them to initiate a traffic stop, which could lead to a questioning of each passenger or even a search of the car.
3) Refuse to allow police officers to search your car. Most people will consent to a search of their vehicle because they think they will be better off by cooperating with the police. This is the worst thing that you can do. If an officer asks to search your car, just say no. A search of your car is especially dangerous around St. Patrick’s Day, as many drivers may provide others with a ride and not realize that their passengers left something (like an empty beer can) that could lead to further investigation.
4) Do not try to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the laws relating to false IDs became much stricter than they used to be. If you are caught trying to buy alcohol with a fake ID, you will likely face at least 12 months of probation, an alcohol abuse evaluation, and community service with high fines. It’s not worth the risk.
5) Do not try to urinate in public. Savannah has numerous bars but limited restrooms, and this often leads to revelers trying to “find a back alley.” You will not be able to do this on St. Patrick’s Day; there are just too many police officers patrolling around every corner. You will get caught, and public urination is a charge that is embarrassing to have to face (especially if you have a job or are in school).
6) Do not provide alcohol to minors. Many people will go out with some of their younger friends and offer to buy drinks for them. Most bars in Savannah have spotters in them that are watching for this very type of illegal activity. Judges look at this crime very seriously, so there won’t be any easy ways out if you are caught giving drinks to underage friends.
These tips are offered to help you enjoy yourself on St. Patrick’s Day and avoid trouble with the police. If you do get in trouble with the police, call an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.