Anti-DUI wolf packs out in St. Petersburg to curb drunk driving

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – St. Patrick’s Day parties, combined with thousands of students on spring break, are keeping Tampa Bay area law enforcement officers on high alert.

They’re watching out for people who drink too much and hit the road.

It’s a St. Patty’s day tradition. Music, food, and a party with plenty of booze.

But, the sad fact is too many people ignore all the warnings and drive drunk.

Julia Jefferson isn’t taking any chances. “I’m calling an Uber,” she said.

On Friday, in Tampa, the driver of a red Mustang died in what investigators suspect, is an alcohol-related crash.

Thursday night, a woman ran into the back of a Sarasota County Sheriff patrol car.

She got a DUI.

This week in Clearwater, a teen died in what FHP investigators tell News Channel 8 is yet another crash where a drunk driver is blamed.

“It’s definitely, it injures people, it takes lives away and it’s irresponsible,” said Julia Jefferson.

St. Petersburg DUI squad member, Officer Lenard Cox, has heard the excuses.

“Generally, I’ve had a few beers, or I’m the designation driver or I’ve had nothing to drink at all, but it becomes kind of obvious,” said Officer Cox.

He said avoiding a crash is easy. “The big thing for us is that people make a plan, and they have a plan before they leave their house, so that this kind of thing doesn’t happen,” he said.

At a block party at Courigan’s Irish Pub in St. Petersburg, servers are on guard for customers who’ve had too much.

“We work as a team, so if we spot somebody before somebody else does, we let ’em know about it. We definitely want to make sure, want to make sure that everybody gets home safely,” said Gina Albright.

The wolf pack patrols will go on through Saturday morning.

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