PITTSBURGH, PA (March 13, 2020) — Despite the cancellation of the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, the City of Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Department is prepared for celebrations and large localized crowds tomorrow.
With serious COVID-19 concerns, this year’s holiday will be different than past years.
Some things, however, will not change — including Public Safety’s determination to catch anyone drinking and driving.
“With COVID-19 and the cancellation of the parade, we anticipate lighter crowds than years past,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. “But we will still maintain a zero tolerance policy for disruptive and illegal behavior. Underage drinking and drinking and driving in particular will be targeted. We want people to enjoy themselves, but to do so responsibly.”
Pittsburgh Bureau of Police DUI Patrols will actively seek anyone who drives under the influence. Plan ahead, use Lyft, Uber and Z-Trip, and never drive while under the influence or get in a vehicle with a driver who is intoxicated. Pittsburgh Police will also have undercover officers and uniformed officers targeting law-breakers.
State, County and City Mounted Units will be deployed, and River Rescue will be active on the waterways. State Police, County Police, the Sheriff’s Department and police agencies from local universities and other public safety partners will be out as well.
Be mindful of pedestrian safety. Wear light-colored clothing so motorists can see you. Don’t wear headphones while walking. Be aware of your surroundings.
In addition this year — and in light of COVID-19 concerns — focus on personal hygiene and social distancing. Wash your hands regularly, do not share drinks, and maintain personal space of at least six feet from others. Public Safety understands that social distancing will be a challenge in bar or restaurant settings, which is why officials are urging businesses to lower their occupancy rates and give people more space. Police, firefighters and inspectors from Permits, Licenses and Inspections will be on the ground, strictly enforcing occupancy maximums.