Law enforcement increasing patrol for St. Patty's Day weekend

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) -- Between 2011 and 2015, more than 200 people died in car crashes during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, according to

Local law enforcement increased patrol through the weekend this year.

“I think it’s a pretty crazy party day around the world,” said Cory Patel, who's spending his St. Patrick’s Day weekend in Grand Junction.

Colorado State Patrol said St. Patrick’s Day ranks in the top five busiest days of the year, and falling on a weekend means the celebrations will probably go a bit longer than usual.

"People get off work and immediately start having those few drinks," said Trooper Glen Hunter.

A sea of green flooded the Grand Junction streets, making a busy day for local bars and law enforcement.

“Weekends like this make us a little more conscious of checking that driver we stopped," said Hunter.

Hunter said there would be about 6 extra patrols out.

Bars and restaurants spent the day preparing for the party night.

“Definitely in the top five, I mean maybe even top three," said Chelsea Shaw, the general manager of Ella’s Blues Room.

Shaw said Friday’s in general bring in larger crowds.

“So when you add a holiday in there, particularly about drinking, or even something special, you're definitely going to get a lot more business."

CSP warned people to enjoy the day, but don't rely on the luck of the Irish.

"Call that cab, call mom and dad, just stay off the road, and don't drink and drive," said Hunter.

CSP had a special car out, marked with a green stripe and clovers.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office also had extra eyes on the road for St. Patrick's Day.

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