With the Green Machine in high gear, police are keeping a close eye on the St. Patrick’s Day revelry. Saint Patrick's Day means people are hitting the bars and that means more police are hitting the streets.
Police say having St Pat’s fall on a Monday does limit the partying but that doesn't limit the patrols.
Nightfall brought a packed house to O’Connor's Pub. The green beer was flowing.
Elsewhere, La Vista Police Officer Steven Walter was gearing up for a busy night.
“You’re looking for impairment,” he said, “maybe a vehicle’s weaving in its lane or not signaling its turn; hitting the brake lights.”
He listens for slurred words during traffic stops; checks for the smell of alcohol. It can be a short trip from a party to a felony.
Walter said it’s, “one of those days where people like to go out and have fun, which is great but they shouldn’t be driving.
Riding along with Officer Walter Monday night, we found reason to make two stops. One was a broken tail light and the other, a missed turn signal.
The stops didn’t result in anything more serious but stops for minor offenses like that can often unveil bigger problems.
Omaha Police were also keeping a close eye on the night. With the help of $20,000 worth of green in the form of a grant, the department increased patrols for the holiday.
OPD tells WOWT 6 News this is one of the biggest drinking days of the year so the extra help is necessary.
Sgt. Doug Klein said, “We look at historically when the most DUI arrests occur. We've had officers out all weekend long."
Over the weekend, officers made 15 DHI arrests and 24 arrests for other alcohol violations.