Savannah St. Pat's finds crowds, DUI arrests, potty problems

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SAVANNAH -- At least 60 people were arrested over St. Patrick's Day weekend by officers from police departments across the state who were deployed throughout Chatham County, officials said.

From Friday morning to Saturday night, at least 23 people were booked into the Chatham County jail on suspicion of drunken driving, and at least 16 were under 30 years old, according to the jail log.

In other pre-St. Patrick's Day developments city workers trucked in extra portable toilets to handle the humanity on River Street, and a police escort was necessary to get them there.

Tybee Island's St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday afternoon - three days in advance of the observed holiday - drew one of the largest crowds ever for an island event.

As for the traffic crackdown, Port Wentworth Police Capt. Matt Libby said up to 40 officers from Port Wentworth; Barrow, Clayton, Douglas and Paulding counties; Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic units, and the Valdosta and Winder police departments descended upon Port Wentworth streets looking for drunken drivers.

Although the number of drunken-driving citations issued was not available, 47 people were arrested on various drug- and alcohol-related offenses from 3 p.m. Friday to 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Libby said.

Known as "Operation Thunderstorm," the initiative resulted in an average of four citations an hour. It is an offshoot of the statewide "Operation Rolling Thunder" campaigns periodically organized in specific areas to crack down on speeding, DUI and other moving-traffic violations.

"We started out with checkpoints and then kept moving throughout the night," Libby said. "It was a wide smorgasbord of drinking and alcohol-related offenses."

In total, 110 drivers were cited for various other offenses, he said.

Libby said he agreed the numbers were high despite heavy media warnings about the operation, but he said that's what he expected.

Savannah-Chatham police conducted a special detail to combat drunken driving, setting up several roadblocks around downtown, said department spokeswoman Judy Pal, who could not provide specific arrest numbers.

On Saturday night, at least 40 St. Patrick's Day celebrants downtown were arrested along River Street and in City Market. Of those suspects, 27 were transported to the Chatham County jail.

At least 12 people were arrested on suspicion of urinating in public, which could have been the result of portable toilets filling up by about 3:30 p.m.

Sometime before noon Saturday, city workers helped replace 20 portable toilets used by St. Patrick's Day celebrants Friday night. By 4 p.m., they needed to be changed again, said city spokesman Bret Bell.

"Maybe this is a sign more people are heading down to River Street than expected," Bell said.

Pal said a barricade kept River Street revelers from relieving themselves in the Savannah River. In the past, some drunken celebrants trying to do so have fallen into the water, she said.

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pthsssh
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pthsssh 03/16/09 - 07:23 am
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Spoilsports! I guess they

Spoilsports! I guess they are trying to make it just as much "fun" as the H.O.G. rallys in Myrtle Beach.

pofwe
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pofwe 03/16/09 - 08:18 am
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If I were still a 25 yr. old

If I were still a 25 yr. old drunk, ... that is where I would be. Since I am a 59 yr.old sober, bumbling fool, ... I'll be here at the house with the cats.

Motorman5039
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Motorman5039 03/16/09 - 08:47 am
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Silly holiday if you ask me,

Silly holiday if you ask me, just an excuse for people to practice cult behavior by wearing green and binge drinking because others are doing it...Better save that money and save your liver too...

lovelylululady
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lovelylululady 03/16/09 - 10:27 am
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Motorman, it is actually a

Motorman, it is actually a RELIGIOUS holiday - an observance of the feast day of St. Patrick, a true saint who brought Christianity to Ireland. It is a shame that this country has made such a mockery of it and turned it into an excuse to get drunk, but it is NOT a silly holiday. In Savannah and Augusta, Irish-Catholics even attend Mass to celebrate St. Patrick.

sueboo418
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sueboo418 03/16/09 - 10:32 am
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Yep, they go to Mass and then

Yep, they go to Mass and then start chugging the green beer!!! LOL

lovelylululady
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lovelylululady 03/16/09 - 10:40 am
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That may be true in some

That may be true in some cases, but it is not the REASON for the holiday

justus4
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justus4 03/16/09 - 11:29 am
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What is the problem with
Unpublished

What is the problem with producing the numbers, in terms of ethnicity, gender, and resident status? Why give a total number of arrests, when specific factors are not included? "We" know why. The reason is that disparaties would jump out at you and scream "racial profiling!" So "they" actively work hard to keep the numbers secert and give the appearance that all's well. The proof: The exact racial breakdown is never printed in any blotter report, and in a so-called free country where the so-called "people" rule, why would that info be so secret? In fact, St Patrick's Day is an ethnic holiday and those arrests should reflect that reality, but again, there are probably unequal treatment, which would be illegal. So everybody looks, while few people see...

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 03/16/09 - 12:06 pm
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justus4 Before anyone answers

justus4 Before anyone answers any of your questions it is necessary for you to define "We" in your above statement. Then define "They" in your above statement.

sjsd17
9
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sjsd17 03/16/09 - 12:19 pm
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justus4, you obviously have

justus4,
you obviously have never been to Savannah for ST. Patrick's Day...there are way more "white devils" there than any other race and out of all the years that I've attended, including this year...everyone I personally saw get arrested, was......WHITE...can you believe it??? Those cops down there and their "profiling"...they should be fired....NOT. They just don't care what color you are as long as you act like you've got some sense...you'll have a good time and not be arrested...so, being as one needs "sense" to go and have a good time...you probably need to stay home.

Frank
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Frank 03/16/09 - 02:43 pm
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In fact, justus, it is not an

In fact, justus, it is not an ETHNIC holiday. Instead, as before mentioned, is a religions holiday, and if I recall correctly that religion includes people of ALL ethincity..

lovelylululady
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lovelylululady 03/16/09 - 03:44 pm
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So right, Frank!

So right, Frank!

rufus
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rufus 03/16/09 - 04:50 pm
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Justus is scared of the

Justus is scared of the beach. Last time he went a cat came by and covered him up.

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 03/16/09 - 05:37 pm
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Rufus, LOL at the above

Rufus, LOL at the above message. Call it as you see it, um him, brother I say call it as you see it.

Pu239
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Pu239 03/16/09 - 07:59 pm
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Sign on a Port Wentworth
Unpublished

Sign on a Port Wentworth street....Keep Drinking lad....Soon you'll be seein' Dublin!

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