Central Ohio Sheriffs Urge Responsibility During St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations This Weekend


Six central Ohio Sheriff's met at a bar to send a message: they know many people will drink for St. Patrick's Day, but they want you to make plans to get home safely.

Clara Boggs has already begun the party.  “It’s my day to celebrate my Irish-ness,” says Boggs.

She doesn't plan to give her kilt-wearing bottle a break until Tuesday, but she's making plans, along with the rest of her local Irish organization.

"The Shamrock Club of Columbus is a participant in the safe ride home program.  We offer taxi vouchers to anyone who needs them,” says Mike Murphy, President of Columbus Shamrock Club

That's music to the ears of sheriffs from Marion, Delaware, Franklin, Pickaway, Ross, Pike and Scioto counties.  They're teaming up to remind people to make transportation arrangements before the first sip.

It's part of their launch of "Project Star".  The program is meant to reduce crashes by saturating highways in all six counties with deputies.  They'll be looking for drunk or aggressive drivers and all the overtime will be paid with federal funds.

Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott says it's all about high visibility.   His deputies will focus on checkpoints in Grove City tonight.  “Have fun, but make a plan,” he says.

Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin says he'll have extra deputies on U.S. 23.  “We know there will be a lot of beer consumed over the next few days and we want people to make sure they've got a designated driver or just doing it in the responsible fashion."

For Clara Boggs, she says she's already designated her St. Patrick's Day driver.  "Luckily, I have some people around town working and they'll be picking me up around 6:00 p.m., right after work.  If they'll fall through, I'll definitely be taking that yellow cab.”

Yellow Cab, German Village and Shamrock taxis are the only companies currently accepting the safe ride voucher.  Next year, they plan to move to a credit card system.