Police Out in Full Force For Saint Patrick's Day

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BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Police departments across the Stateline will be out in full force this weekend making sure drivers don't party too hard this Saint Patrick's Day.

We're told road blocks will be set up at multiple locations where police are keeping a close eye out for unsafe drivers. Some area departments are bringing in extra officers to work late into the night.

Police say they're expecting a lot of drinking over the holiday weekend. They say that increases the likelihood of drunk drivers taking to the road. Belvidere Police called in two extra officers to work a special beat tonight.

Those officers are specifically looking for impaired drivers and those not wearing their seat belts. The department says they just want people to be safe and are asking them to, if they had one too many, just stay out of the driver seat.

"We want people to be happy and to celebrate,” said Belvidere Patrol Officer Jon Kaplan. “But we also have to be realistic and we realize that some people will not make responsible decisions this weekend."

Rockford Police say they're also putting more patrolmen out on the road this weekend. In Beloit, police there say this is the eighth year they've added extra patrol for the Saint Patrick's Day holiday and that they surprisingly they don't arrest more people for impaired driving when they do. They say that's because they feel drivers know the police are out there and aren't taking as many chances.

Both Belvidere and Rockford Police say they are paying for the extra officers with grant money given to them by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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