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Bars, Police prepare for St. Patrick’s Day

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend and thousands across southeastern North Carolina are flocking to their favorite watering hole for some green beer, but if you plan on drinking you might want to consider calling a cab.

"It's 8:30 P.M and I have already kicked out three people and just refused to serve them beer because they were a little too drunk, a little too wild, a little too rambunctious,” said Pour House bartender Tom Ruybal.

On a weekend where everyone gets a little Irish bartenders are putting their ALE training to good use to keep crowds under control and patrons safe.

"There are the signs you have to look for like slurred speech and stumbling,” said Ruybal. “If they're taking more than two seconds to pull out their card from their wallet they've probably had too much to drink."

On the streets local law enforcement officers are looking for similar signs as they step up their ‘Booze It and Lose It’ campaign.

"On St. Patrick's Day traditionally a lot of people go out drinking, which is fine, but the problem occurs when they get into a car and decide to drive home,” said Sgt. Mike Donelson of the Wilmington Police Department.

If officers suspect a driver of drinking and driving they could get a free ride in the bat mobile, a half a million dollar van equipped with breathalyzers and a magistrate, that could potentially cost you thousands down the road.

"You know you can spend $20 on a cab ride once you factor in insurance premiums going up, once you pay your attorney and just the headache of going through a DWI,” said Sgt. Donelson. “With the interlocks coming on board that's another fee. It just doesn't make any sense."

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