City officials, police talk safety ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — With just one week until the St. Patrick’s Day party begins, Savannah police and city leaders want to make sure you know the rules.

Officials held a press conference Friday to talk safety protocol, with an emphasis on underage drinking.

“It leads to other crimes and our focus here is to make sure our children are safe,” said Sgt. Shinita Young with the Savannah Police Department. “We have a lot of parents who call into ABC unit concerned about businesses selling to their children, or having that actual access to alcohol.”

Bartenders have been warned not to serve kids and not to overserve anyone. Police will also be watching behind the bar, in the streets and at the door.

“We will have plainclothes officers at the door, so when you come up and you have that ID, you will be cited,” said Sgt. Young.

Last year 80 fake IDs were confiscated during the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. And over the past two years, 13 underage drinking arrests were made in Chippewa Square alone.

Officials also urge residents to keep the city clean. Last year Chippewa Square was covered in trash after the parade.

This year the city has made a map with all trash cans and recycling bins in the downtown area — so there’s no excuse for littering.

“When you come to the square we want you to have a good time but we want you to leave nothing behind,” said Eddie Grant with the Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism.

A final reminder from authorities — a simple citation will cost you.

Those caught drinking from a can or bottle and not a plastic cup face a $150 fine. Urinating in public is a $200 fine and underage drinking could cost $250.

If arrested, bail starts at $1000, depending on the charge.

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