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Dallas Police Getting Stricter For St. Patrick’s Day

By Marianne Martinez, CBS 11 News
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(Photo credit PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Dallas’ annual St. Patrick’s Day block party attracts thousands of revelers to Lower Greenville.  But this year’s event comes with a big change.  Dallas Police will be enforcing the open container law more strictly.

“Usually, it’s just a time where everyone has a great time,” said Matt Harrison, who lives just a couple of blocks from Lower Greenville.  “Just drink and eat lots of food and start early in the morning and finish late at night.”

Harrison will have to be be a little more careful about how he and his friends party.  Anyone who’s drinking within 18 feet from a public right of way, like a sidewalk, can receive a $250 citation.

“In past events, we’ve poured out the alcohol, but we’re going to be a little more strict,” said Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell.

Mitchell said it will not be a zero tolerance policy, so there is some leniency.

“It’s not to say we’re going out there and count off 18 feet to make sure you’re 18 feet away from the sidewalk,” Mitchell said.  “We want everyone to just be more responsible and not get too intoxicated, not discard beer cans in the neighborhood.”

Some residents agree with the stepped-up enforcement.

“A little more strict, a little more in control to send the message especially for the after-party,” said Mark Rieves, who is on the board of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association.  “If they’ve got open containers, they can use [the law] to haul away the stupid people.”

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