March 10th, 2012 | City

Cops to parade-goers: leave the beer at home

Revelers at the St. Patrick's Day Parade will need to keep it under control, NHPD officials say.
Revelers at the St. Patrick's Day Parade will need to keep it under control, NHPD officials say. Photo by YDN.

As the Elm City gears up for its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade Sunday, its police announced they will be cracking down on public drinking.

New Haven Police Department spokesman David Hartman said any of the expected 300,000 parade-goers caught drinking in public will face a $99 fine, the New Haven Independent reported. In anticipation of the influx of people into the city, Hartman said the NHPD will hire an additional 100 officers on Sunday to patrol the downtown area.

While public drinking along the parade route has always been illegal, the NHPD has only stepped up enforcement in the past two years.

“We will now be enforcing public drinking laws,” Hartman said, according to the Independent. “Unruly behavior is not going to be tolerated.”

The NHPD will work with bar owners to ensure a smooth parade day, Hartman said. That message was underscored by the site of Hartman’s press conference: Anna Liffey’s, a bar on Whitney Avenue.

The St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Derby Avenue and Chapel Street and will wind downtown to the New Haven Green. Grand Marshal Kevin Smith said at the Thursday press conference that the parade will feature 3,600 marchers in 126 units, the Independent reported. While the event typically draws around 250,000 people each year, Smith said the balmy weather predicted for Sunday — sunny with a high of 54 degrees — could bring as many as 300,000 to the parade.