Law enforcement tracks down St. Patty's drunk drivers

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- St. Patrick's Day weekend means plenty of partiers celebrating at area bars and law enforcement agencies want to make sure everyone gets home safely -- which is why they'll be out in full force, hunting down drunk drivers.

"It's our best day of the year. Everybody else's best day of the year is, you know, the night before Thanksgiving and New Years. This is ours," said Joe Phillips, owner of House of Guinness in Waukesha.

Irish pubs are expecting thousands of customers over the weekend and some even plan to open as early as 6:30 a.m. Sunday and Monday.

As people hit the bars, police officers are hitting the streets, looking for those making the wrong choice about getting home. The Southeast Wisconsin OWI Task Force has put together its largest crew in recent history for a St. Patrick's Day weekend.

"Literally hundreds of officers in two counties will be out in force," said Lt. Ken Pileggi. "If you do choose to do that this weekend and you see red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, our mission is to stop, test, arrest and lock you up, and we will."

If you're looking for a safe ride home over the weekend, some communities offer free public transit or cab rides. Otherwise, make sure you have a designated driver before you decide to drink.