Milwaukee officials to amp up patrols during St. Patrick's Day festivities

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has ordered an increase in patrols to be out in force this St. Patrick's Day weekend, beginning Wednesday, March 16th to stop and arrest impaired drivers.

The initiative began at 2:00 p.m., and will conclude at 6:00 a.m. Sunday, March 20th.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office will deploy 147 squads on staggered shifts throughout the weekend to detect, stop, test, and arrest drunken drivers.

"While most people participate in this celebration responsibly, some simply will not. Drunk driving is not a mistake. People make a conscious decision to drink too much alcohol and then drive. Drunk driving is a preventable crime," said Sheriff Clarke.

Clarke also ordered several rounds of warrant sweeps focusing on DUI-related warrants over the past two weeks. This initiative has so far lead to the arrest of 21 subjects and cleared 35 warrants.

The sheriff's office says people who expect to drink alcohol during the celebrations are urged to use designated drivers, the transit system, taxi or private ride service instead of getting behind the wheel.