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Pubs prepare for St. Patrick’s Day as law enforcement ramps up safety efforts

LANCASTER, P.A. --- For Sally Flaherty, St. Patrick's Day is a "season," just like "Christmas."

However, she said it's more than a day of wearing green or going to a pub.

"It's about telling stories and having fun and enjoying your friendships and knowing how you got where you are and hoping that your family can keep you there for the next generation...it's just a wonderful weekend," said Flaherty.

This will be the first time St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday since Irish owned and operated pub Tellus 360 on East King Street.

Marketing and event manager Bill Speakman said they've doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the amount of food and drinks in preparation for a packed weekend.

He said employees are bracing for the busy day, which started bright and early at 6 a.m. Saturday with an Irish themed breakfast.

"Everybody's Irish on Saint Patrick's Day so we want everybody here [Saturday], we can't wait," said Speakman.

However, it's not just business preparing for the celebrations.

Law Enforcement across central Pennsylvania are ramping up their safety efforts, as well.

Areas like Lancaster and York County will have heightened DUI enforcement with municipal departments teaming up with State Police for around-the-clock patrols and checkpoints.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says on St. Patrick's Day in 2016, nearly 40 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

In light of those statistics, Speakman said one of their top priorities is to avoid over-serving patrons.

He said their staff and security is RAMP certified through the P.A. Liquor Control Board -- which includes training for how to identifying signs of intoxication.

He also said when they notice someone who's night might be over, they'll give them a water and find them a way home.

"You've got cabs, Ubers, friends so hopefully no one will be out there driving on the streets after having a good time," said Speakman.

Authorities say if you plan to drink, make plans beforehand about how you’ll be getting home.

Enhanced enforcement efforts will continue throughout the weekend.