A Sobering St. Patty's Day


All Irish and non-Irish revelers alike faced stricter sanctions and harsher penalties this year for party-hardying throughout last weekend.

Police warned Boston residents to keep their beer bashing and drunken revelries to a low, which was mostly enforced at Sunday’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Southie.  In order to curb the growing issue of public drinking, police stacked up their patrol over the weekend with an additional 200 officers from last year, bringing the officers headcount up to a whopping 600.  Beer-happy parade-goers were slapped with citations and $200 fines for public drinking—an attempt to avert the drunken brawls and nasty behavior that usually go hand-in-hand with the celebration. According to sources, police strictly implemented the city’s alcohol laws and cracked down on drunk drivers Sunday and yesterday. They were also manning the bars and streets in college towns, looking for underage partiers or just those who were drunk off their asses.

The parade hosted a hefty ratio of blue uniforms amidst the sea of green wigs, robes, and kilts—making for a much more sober celebration than in past years. Every liquor store and bar along the parade route was guarded by two officers and ordered to close early, ending the party short for all those uninformed college students hoping to get wasted. At the end of the day, Bostonians received a pat on the back for their conduct report, with 13 parade-related arrests for drinking in public and/or disorderly conduct, compared to 17 last year, and only 149 citations for public drinking, as opposed to 400. I didn’t say the report was ‘excellent,’ just ‘much improved.’ 

Some revelers, of course, weren’t all too happy about the increased police monitoring and the stricter booze patrol during the one day when drinking is absolutely required. One South Boston resident said, “That's like taking the green out of St. Patrick's Day."

Yesterday just may not have been the same without the drunken fights and the occasional stranger pissing on your front lawn. But I’m glad that Boston is trying to be at least a little safer..and more street-cleaner-friendly with its crackdown on obnoxiously wasted carousers. Sometimes St. Patty’s Day is best celebrated with a cold glass of green beer and reveling in the awesomely grotesque scenes from Boondock Saints. It’s a pleasant little reminder that—in the wise words of Murphy McManus—" It's  St. Patty's Day, everyone's Irish tonight.”

  - Christine Choe

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