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St. Paddy’s Day Crime Statistics

by ARLnow.com March 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm 7,724 69 Comments

The statistics on St. Patrick’s Day are in from the Arlington County Police Department. Police responded to more than two dozen alcohol-related incidents as revelers packed local bars to celebrate the holiday.

ACPD reported the following crimes on Saturday, denoted by the number of separate incidents officers responded to.

  • Drunk in Public — 13
  • Assaults where alcohol was involved — 7
  • Driving Under the Influence — 4
  • Urinating in Public — 1
  • Drunk parent at bar with baby (referred to Child Protective Services) — 1

Each incident resulted in at least one arrest or summons, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.

  • JamesE

    How drunk do you actually have to be to get charged with drunk in public?

    • joblo

      dont think there is a level, as far as i understand you could be charged for stumbling ect.

      • JamesE

        There has to be some line you have to cross in order for the police to charge you, if it was stumbling they would have to arrest at least 15,000 people each night.

        • Swag

          Always seemed to me like it was one of those blanket offenses used for people who were causing problems or a danger to themselves.

          Unless the cop really wants to be a dick, they’re not gonna hassle you if you’re just minding your own business and not falling over.

          • JamesE

            That is what I figure, you probably have to be causing a scene.

          • Hurley

            This happened to me in Virginia Beach. Got stopped by two cops while my buddy and I were trying to walk back to our hotel. We were far from drunk, my buddy tripped stepping up onto a curb, didn’t fall or anything. The cops came and arrested us even though we asked multiple times to be breathalyzed to prove we were sober. It ended up getting thrown out in court while the judge laughed in the cop’s face.

          • JamesE

            they probably had a quota!

          • HayCaramba

            yeah, they laughed in your face as it was your time they wasted. they still get paid and go home happy while all you get is a lousy story to post online.

          • Sure tough guy

            How exactly did the judge laugh in the cop’s face? Just cause he dismissed the charge? Well, guess what… you still spent the night in jail!! So who is laughing? And a drunk in public charge is a local charge, not reported on a criminal history. So nobody would ever know if you were guilty/not guilty outside of that jurisdiction. So really the cop got you off the street that night, into the drunk tank, and you didn’t have to pay a… get ready for this… $30 fine. Wow, you saved $30!! Oh, don’t let me forget, you got to see a judge laugh in the face of the cop. Sure you did.

          • Zoning Victim

            This is a huge problem with some officers; the ones with attitudes like yours. First, they know there is nothing for them to lose by arresting people they should just leave alone; second, they know that even if you are not convicted, they still got the better of you because they made you spend the night in jail; finally, and worst of all, officers who are like you don’t even know the law.

            Intoxication in public is a violation of state law and a Class 4 misdemeanor:

            Class 4 misdemeanors can carry a fine of up to $250:

            I’m glad most police officers don’t act like you. Unfortunately for them, there are still enough officers with your attitude to cause people to be wary of all police officers.

          • Sure tough guy

            No, I am not a cop, I am actually on the other side as a defense attorney. Cops do not arrest under the state code. They arrest for DIP under the county code, which is a local offense, is $30, and is not reported to your criminal history. It remains under your local history. And just because a person was not convicted does not mean they are not guilty. BTW, I may have been able to help you with your zoning problem, at least with some advice.:)

        • redstang423

          According to Arlington County Code 17-7, “It shall be unlawful for any person to be drunk or profanely to curse or swear in any public place in the County.”

          Since they do not define “drunk,” the legal definition would revert to Virginia state code. According to section 4.1-100, “‘Intoxicated’ means a condition in which a person has drunk enough alcoholic beverages to observably affect his manner, disposition, speech, muscular movement, general appearance or behavior.”

          So it is a really fuzzy line, and can be extremely difficult to defend if you’re accused wrongly, since the only real requirements are subject to the officer’s opinion and they aren’t required to provide a breathalyzer test. On the flip side, they can also be difficult to prosecute for the same reason.

        • Burger

          A few years ago, there was a WaPo article on Fairfax police going into local bars and arresting people for being drunk in public but had not done anything beyond being in the bar with a drink i.e. no scene, no stumbling, nothing. The standard in VA is very loose for cops if they really want to.

          • Swag

            Yeah, every year there are a couple of jurisdictions that think this is a great idea. They always end up catching a lot of flak for it.

          • Balderdash Champion

            Sounds like something out of 1984 or the Minority report, or Panem, I mean, North Korea

    • Swag

      You just have to look/act drunk and blow something above a zero, I believe.

      • Zoning Victim

        No breathalyzer is required to charge someone with public drunkenness, unfortunately.

  • joblo

    Drunk parent at bar with baby (referred to Child Protective Services) — 1


    • Dohler

      Probably Westover Beer Garden.

  • BlueSkies

    Why do these folks have bars on their eyes? Are they supposed criminals, or fashion don’ts?

    • shannntastic

      My guess is because ARLnow doesnt have permission to post a picture of these individuals – so they had to cover a portion of the faces. Notice all the other faces are partial shot.

    • CrystalMikey

      Probably lack of consent to have likeness published.

    • nunya

      i think if you’re in public, pictures can be taken of you. maybe arlnow is just cya-ing.

      • Maria

        Probably. It is a story about crime statistics, so you don’t want these people implicated as those who committed (were accused of?) the crimes.

        • That’s exactly correct. It’s the same reason you’ll often see TV news run video of people from the neck down on stories related to drugs, sex, etc.

          • Swag

            and obesity. They never show the faces of fat people.

          • CW

            The lens is only so big…

    • Michael H.

      It’s an homage to AC/DC and their album “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”:


  • Swag

    …..that’s it?

  • LP


  • Nova Man

    where did the action occur?

  • YTK

    “It was ALCOHOL??!! But…but it tasted just ilke PEDIALYTE!!”

  • drax

    Only 13 drunk in publics and one public urination on St. Paddy’s Day – strong evidence that there really is no arrest quota in Arlington.

    • nunya

      yeah, that urination stat is pretty low.

      • peeee

        I think you have to actually pee on a cop’s foot to get arrested for that on St Paddy’s day

    • SomeGuy

      First of all, drax, there were never ever any quotas. The internal memo merely referred to “Proactivity Expectations” that would result in disciplinary action against officers if not met. Those are entirely different things.

      Second, perhaps the cops on duty were “proactive” enough to have already met their “Proactivity Expectations” earlier in the month?

      • drax

        It’s almost as if my post was a joke or something.

  • OldTimer

    What about a fine for drunk barfing? There were pools of that stuff down the sidewalk, but mostly centered near 7-11. Nasty.

  • nom de guerre

    I’m guessing you are referring to Arlington’s showcase 7-11 that is located across from the Ballston Metro on Fairfax Drive.

    • OldTimer

      Oh no. 7-11 @ Washington & Highland in Clarendon… with outside dining at Lyon Hall during pre-dawn hours.

      • nom de guerre

        My bad! I could have sworn you were talking about the one that serves Arlington’s elite. But the one you referred to would have been my second choice.

        • OldTimer

          One could only imagine the 7-11 between those locations spittin’ distance from Mario’s. Need a happy hour drink to get image gone.

          • Balderdash Champion

            Saw two bros getting arrested by the 7-11 on washington by Clarendon Reserve. Did not look too happy.

            I think I saw those same two guys at Spider Kellys for “Manassas Tow Truck Driver Night”

  • Mary-Austin

    I saw a drunk guy shove a another guy across a stool, knocking out a girl in the way at Mad Rose. They both ate it really bad and I’m sure had some bruises on Sunday.
    They guy then tried to fight the four security guards carrying him out.
    I hope he got arrested but who knows.

    • OldTimer

      Mad Rose still open? Never see a sole outside or inside when passing by. And how does a place like SoBee across the courtyard stay in biz when never open? Shady to me.

      • Swag

        Quite a few places in Arlington that don’t do any business but never seem to run out of money

      • paddy

        That would be O’mad Rose. Once a year it makes money

  • Andrew

    Please tell me someone busted the guy heading off Key Bridge through Rosslyn who had obviously been in a hit and run…and whose driver’s side door was open and scraping the ground with sparks flying high (like Ivey Welding!) at around 25 MPH alll the way through Rosslyn on Fort Myer Drive around 9:30 PM. I was a pedestrian on Key Bridge, so didn’t get to see what happened next!

  • LP

    who on earth brings a baby to a bar? get a babysitter or stay home. they should be referred to child protective services.

    • robft

      How exactly is the baby harmed by being inside a bar? I get that it’s not something normal people do, but assuming the baby isn’t consuming alcohol, where’s the harm? Is it any different than a baby in a restaurant when the parent orders a drink?

      • LP

        if no one under 21 is permitted inside, and ID is checked at the door, why should a baby be exempt?

        plus, babies are known for putting anything and everything in their mouths. who knows what they consume while in a bar.

      • PTSJ

        I was actually there when the cops came in to talk to this lady with the baby. She was very drunk and was falling into the wall when she was coming back into the bar from smoking. There were other there yelling at her too!

      • Zer

        I actually saw several babies out and about last Saturday. At least two at Ri Ra and one at Whitlows that had a Bud Lite bow in her hair.

    • drax

      I brought my babies to bars. I see lots of people do it. It’s no big deal as long as you don’t get drunk. Not ALL bars are appropriate for babies, but some are. Besides, all bars in Va. are actually restaurants anyway.

      • CW

        +1. Fire Works, Lyon Hall, Tallula/EatBar, Eventide downstairs, LT, these are all resto-bars and are crawling with kids. Even the side dining room at SK’s will be full of them in the hours before the frat crowd shows up.

        I think the point of that arrest was NOT that she was at a bar with a baby, but that she was in a state where she was not in control of herself and was thus endangering the baby. No different than driving around with it sitting in an adult car seat, for example.

        • drax

          Exactly. She wasn’t just with a baby in a bar, she was with a baby in a bar completely sh*tfaced.

          • OldTimer

            At least she was smart enough to not leave the baby in carseat in her car all day.

  • JimPB

    How many auto accidents with a driver or both drivers DUI?

    Was there promotion/publicity about designated drivers?

    • CW

      Yes. There were radio ads for SoberRide and similar programs.

  • Andrew

    I was wondering about this because of the “perfect storm” quality of the day: very warm, Saturday, NCAA and St. Pat’s Day all rolled into one. I was walking down Wilson around 6 p.m. near Whitlow’s. I swear to God it looked like a green version of Bourbon Street in New Orleans — no flashing, though.

    • Joehoya

      Sadly, that’s the best part.

    • Josh S

      I was in the Courthouse area around lunchtime and it was incredible how many people were in green. Also, 90% of them were white 20-somethings. I mused about conformity but then decided to leave it alone.

      • KalashniKEV

        Were you disappointed that Shaquille O’Neil wasn’t there?

  • Seamus

    FYI, “Patty” is short for “Patrick.” “Paddy” is short for “Padraig.”

    • Flashback

      Patty Hurst playing Patty Cake in a Paddy Wagon.

    • nom de guerre

      and St. Patrick’s Day is sometimes referred to as St. Paddy’s day by the Irish.


      • Pat

        Yes. Can be either.

  • Zelora

    I happen to know that they use “Drunk In Public” to stop parties that start in private homes, but break out into screaming that can be heard for blocks, fighting, barfing, honking horns, throwing beer cups all over a neighborhood, etc. etc.

  • Slugger

    It’s that quota!!!!! ;P


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