Parade Organizers Hope Cooler Ban Will Curb Underage Drinking

They finally did it. The organizers of Dogtown’s famed St. Patrick’s Day Parade banned coolers from this year’s event. The Ancient Order of Hibernians hope to curb excessive drinking and underage drinking on what is traditionally, right or wrong, a fairly beer-centered celebration.

Incidentally, St. Patrick’s Day is also when a lot of people who didn’t expect to go to jail end up there because of an alcohol-related charge such as DWI. St. Louis residents should keep in mind that police officers are likely to be on the lookout for any broken tail lights or any other kind of irregularity that might lead to a drunk driving charge.

As for the parade itself, the festivities in Dogtown get underway shortly after noon on March 17. Celebrants will probably notice a number of police checkpoints around the neighborhood. People of legal age can buy beer from the local bars or street vendors, but those sales will cease at 6 p.m., and two hours later the bars will shut down.

If revelers do find themselves under suspicion of driving while intoxicated, then they would do well to apprise themselves of their rights as soon as possible. Even during celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day, police officers are obliged to adhere to specific guidelines regarding how an arrest is conducted.

The penalties for DWI or underage drinking in Missouri are serious, so it is important that anyone who is up against such charges is fully aware of the available legal options for achieving the best outcome possible.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade to ban coolers,” Diane Toroian Keaggy, Feb. 12, 2013

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