D.C. police increase patrols for St. Patrick's Day

The St. Patrick's Day weekend kicked off a day early with plenty of people wearing green and drinking green beer. The weekend will be full of parades, parties and police. Officers across the area started DUI enforcement efforts Friday night.

Several arrests have already been made and many citations have been handed out. The crackdown continues throughout the weekend at bars and restaurants. Police are prepared to keep the big crowds under control.

Shenanigans Irish Pub in Adams Morgan says this is always the biggest weekend of the year.

“Because we’re an Irish pub everybody wants to be in an Irish pub for St. Patrick’s Day,” says Travis McCarthy, the manager at Shenanigans. “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!”

To keep a handle on the crowds, McCarthy says they make sure everyone is at the bar legally. They work with D.C. police and the Liquor Board to be sure they know what to look for when it comes to fake IDs.

“It’s a safety issue. There’s a reason why the drinking age is 21 because people tend to be more responsible at that age.”

Not only are police keeping an eye out for underage drinkers, they’re also conducting extra traffic checkpoints.

In Prince George’s County, police handed out more than 100 citations Friday night, arrested three people for drugs and two people for DUI’s. They’re concentrating on the area around the University of Maryland.

Bars in Adams Morgan are expecting big crowds through Sunday.

The 42nd annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off Sunday at noon at the National Mall.

At 4 p.m., the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will begin its free cab rides through the SoberRide Program. If you've been drinking, call 1-800-200-TAXI for a free ride home. The rides last until 4 a.m. Monday.