Troopers increase patrols ahead of St. Patrick's Day

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - This year's St. Patrick's Day will be the first to land on a Saturday in six years. And green beer plus March Madness may equal trouble on the roads.

Friday afternoon in Pleasant Ridge the green beers were already flowing as patrons at Molly Malone's got an early start to the St. Patrick's Day festivities. They're expecting even bigger crowds on Saturday.

"We'll be hitting the thousands I say hopefully. They all want to come in here and drink a green beer. They want to drink a car bomb you know," said Aaron Ryan, who works at the bar.

Workers will start pouring cold ones Saturday at 7 a.m. for the Eggs and Kegs Breakfast. Ryan says throughout the day servers will be keeping an eye out to make sure the guests are responsible.

"We want to get everyone home safe and sound. Everyone needs to enjoy their day," he said.

Ohio State Police say this past year on St. Patrick's Day 39 people were killed on the road because of alcohol-related crashes -- 300 were injured. With the holiday falling on a weekend this year Sgt. Aaron Gentry says he's anticipating more traffic on the roads.

"You have some people who ordinarily don't go out and have a good time, but they decided to do that this time. So they're a little bit of an amateur when it comes to that. They might do something a little bit out of the ordinary and it might cost someone their life or injure somebody," said Gentry.

Extra patrols will be out Friday through Sunday. Gentry warns that an OVI charge could lead to six months jail time plus fines up to $5,000. It's a risk he says isn't worth it.

"You know people say cabs might be expensive. It's not $5,000 to take a cab," said Gentry.

Troopers say they also need the help of others out on the roads. They say if you see an impaired driver call #677 and that will connect you to a dispatcher to alert an officer.

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