St. Patrick's Day is coming up on Tuesday, March 17th. This means the weekend before and the day of will likely see a lot of people going out to enjoy some drinks, and maybe hear some traditional Irish music or try some Irish foods. Unfortunately, some of those people will end up behind the wheel after having one too many. After an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Missouri, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid a criminal conviction and keep your license.
St. Patrick's Day Celebrations and Drinking
Missouri has a long history of Irish immigrants coming to the state seeking opportunities. Missouri has its own tiny town of St. Patrick in the northeastern corner of the state, complete with a Shrine of Saint Patrick “fashioned after the Saint Patrick's Memorial Church of Four Masters in Donegal, Ireland.”
However, these days, more people associated St. Patrick's Day with wearing green, parades, and drinking Guinness. The biggest celebration in the area may be the Kansas City St. Patrick's Day parade. Named as one of the best St. Patrick's Day parades in the U.S. by Reader's Digest, the 48th Annual event will take place on Tuesday starting at about 11 a.m. in Midtown and Westport.
Anywhere else in the state, at Irish pubs and regular bars and restaurants, revelers may be ordering up Guinness or regular beer dyed green. If you plan to go out celebrating on St. Paddy's, make sure you plan ahead to get home safe. The police and law enforcement will also be planning ahead, with officers on the lookout for possibly impaired drivers.
Increased DWI Enforcement Over St. Patrick's Day
Law enforcement agencies in Missouri, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local police, will be increasing patrols over the holidays to watch for intoxicated drivers. The Impaired Driving Enforcement Campaign will extend from Friday, March 13 at midnight to Wednesday, March 18 at noon. This is aimed at enforcement and education efforts to address drinking and driving.
In 2018, police made 17 DWI arrests on St. Patrick's Day in Kansas City. Most of the arrests involved saturation patrols, where police targeted areas with a history of drunk driving-related arrests and accidents. The majority of those DWI arrests occurred in the late night and early morning hours between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
In 2017, the number of DWI arrests was much higher in Kansas City, at 66 DWI arrests. In 2017, St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday and police were using checkpoints for two consecutive days rather than focusing on just the saturation patrols.
- Calling a taxi, Lyft, or Uber;
- Using public transportation; or
- Designating a sober driver.
Losing Your License After an Arrest
If you are pulled over and arrested for a DWI after St. Patrick's Day partying, the arresting officer will generally seize your license and give you a temporary permit. You only have 15 days after the arrest to request an administrative hearing if you want to keep your license.
If you have questions about how to challenge a DWI arrest and keep your driving privileges, the Joshua Wilson Law Firm is here to help. Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today by calling (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.