Savannah Police handed out thousands of masks, hundreds of citations during St. Pat’s celebrations

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day revelers walk past a large banner urging people to “MASK UP” in front of City Hall in Savannah, Ga., Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Despite its 197-year-old parade being canceled, Savannah still had plenty of tourists for the Irish holiday. Some officials worried the celebration could start an outbreak of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Police handed out 27,000 masks, 466 citations and made more than 90 arrests during the week of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, according to the Savannah Police Department (SPD).

SPD’s Traffic Unit, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and other law enforcement agencies set up DUI checkpoints and safety operations in the Hostess City during the week of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Police made 71 DUI arrests, 14 drug arrests, six felony arrests, one fugitive arrest and handed out 466 citations, SPD said. Police also gave out four mask ordinance citations.

Officers tasked with patrolling downtown Savannah made one DUI arrest and one felony arrest for possession of a controlled substance, police said.

“Our officers were out in full force over the last week in anticipation of visitors to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day,” Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter said. “Although the week was not as busy compared to weeks we have seen in the past, it still resulted in a busy week for our officers.”

Out of the 133 alcohol-selling businesses inspected by SPD’s Alcohol Beverage Compliance (ABC) Unit, 55 businesses received at least one citation.

ABC Unit supervisor Sgt. Samantha Stephens said the unit visited businesses all across the city and the inspections ranged from employee training, license conditions and underage drinking sales.

“The most citations were written for underage sales, followed by employee training regulations,” Stephens said.

Officers directed underage operations at 85 businesses last week and 36 were given citations. The managers or licenses of those businesses that failed were notified about the operation and the actions by officers, if the employees asked for ID and how the alcohol was sold, officials said.

Local ordinance requires that businesses teach employees for two years on how to sell alcohol, which 17 citations were handed out after failing to provide proof.

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