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All is calm on the drunken front

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Green attire blanketed the streets of downtown San Luis Obispo, and whiskey still flowed like water, but the paddy wagons went back to the station a little lighter than usual this St. Patrick’s Day.

According to Capt. Chris Staley of the SLO Police Department, a variety of factors—including an extensive messaging campaign urging revelers to behave and the start of finals at Cal Poly—seem to have contributed to a relatively quiet St. Patrick’s Day.

“Probably the quietest St. Patrick’s Day I’ve seen in a long time,” Staley said, summarizing the aftermath of the renowned drinking holiday that draws crowds to area bars before the crack of dawn.

In total for March 17, SLOPD made six arrests for drunk-in-public calls throughout the day and night shifts, two arrests for DUI, one warrant arrest, and one arrest for a fake ID. In 2013, the department made 38 arrests, mostly alcohol related, with three DUIs and the remainder primarily for drunk in public, Staley said.

At the March 18 SLO City Council meeting, one local business owner urged the city to crack down further, saying his business was surrounded by drunken crowds roaming the street throughout the weekend leading up to the holiday.

Chief Steve Gesell responded that the department would continue its regular patrol and, “Ultimately, for a St. Patrick’s Day proper, there’s no doubt that [finals] dramatically decreased our calls for service.”

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