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Arrests and citations up, total crime down on State Patty's Day

According to the chief of the State College Police, a great deal of money has been devoted to stopping State Patty's Day, but to no avail.

"This event is still a major problem and unwelcomed in our community," he said. "The State College Borough and Penn State University will continue to search for the answers that will end this event for our collective safety and well-being."

"Most of the focus of this event is around both illegal consumption and over-consumption of alcohol," he added.

The student-created event began in 2007 as an alternative to Saint Patrick's Day. This year, it took place Feb. 23-25.

It may not be a welcome event, but this year's State Patty's Day saw a reduction in total crime for a third year in a row. That included a 71-percent reduction in DUI arrests.

Dangerous drinking appeared to be down, too. According to the Centre Daily Times, alcohol overdoses at Mount Nittany Medical Center were down 23 percent. Calls for service to State College and Penn State Police were down for the second year in a row.

Overall, crime was down 3.7 percent. There was a 47-percent reduction in ordinance violations, and parking violations dropped by 38 percent.

Nevertheless, there were 20 percent more arrests and citations than last year. Still, police made less than half the number of arrests they had in 2011 and 2012.

Although it appears that students were working hard to avoid violating laws during the event, the news wasn't all positive. Centre LifeLink EMS responded to 50 calls over the course of the event, and 80 percent of those calls involved alcohol. By contrast, last year there were 97 calls but only 32 percent involved alcohol.

Interestingly, the State College police chief said that the town-gown community once found a way to reduce the impact of the event. They paid local liquor licensees to close on State Patty's Day Saturday. "That was very successful but also very costly," he said.

If you were arrested on State Patty's Day, don't just plead guilty and hope for the best. An attorney can help you minimize the negative consequences of a State Patty's Day -- or Saint Patrick's Day arrest.

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