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Law Enforcement Ups Presence On Iowa Roadways For St. Patrick’s Day

Tomorrow (Friday) is St. Patrick’s Day, and millions of Americans plan to don their green clothes and participate in the Irish-centric holiday. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be out in increased numbers through the weekend on the lookout for impaired drivers. Iowa State Patrol Trooper and District 4 Public Resource Officer Shelby McCreedy says St. Paddy’s Day may be particularly hazardous on the roadways this year for two reasons.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) does not consider St. Patrick’s Day a major holiday like the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, so they don’t track traffic fatalities the same way as those holidays. However, McCreedy says they are very similar in the number of serious accidents, in her opinion.

McCreedy says St. Patrick’s Day offers an excellent opportunity for Iowans to have a good time. Still, she encourages drivers not to leave their trips home after celebrating to luck.

She says their main focus through the weekend will be on impaired driving, but law enforcement will also be watching for the other factors that lead to traffic fatalities: distracted drivers, excessive speed, and seatbelt usage. As of Wednesday, Iowa has recorded 54 traffic deaths in 2023, a 14.89-percent increase from last year and 12.5 percent over the five-year average.

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