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Saturation patrol set for weekend
McMinnville Police Department Lt. Mark Mara.

McMinnville Police Department will be conducting saturation patrols this weekend.
While Saint Patrick’s Day isn’t a huge celebration in Warren County, it is in other places, says McMinnville Police Department Lt. Mark Mara.
“We normally don’t have a lot of problems here on Saint Patrick’s Day, but we work with the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and we do try to keep the roads safe. In order to do that, we understand that people travel through McMinnville in going to other destinations. I don’t think a lot of people celebrate it in McMinnville, but people celebrate it in other places that are close by.”
While not nearby, New York City’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is one of the world’s largest parades and has been since 1762 when 250,000 marchers traipsed up Fifth Avenue on foot. The parade still doesn’t allow floats, cars, or other modern items. In Chicago, the city has been celebrating Saint Patrick with a parade and by dumping green dye into the Chicago River since 1962. It takes 40 tons of dye to get the river to a suitably festive shade.
Mara says McMinnville Police Department will be working with other agencies across the state and during Saint Patrick’s Day weekend to make the roads safer while motorists travel to and from their destinations.
The department will have a DUI prosecutor on standby with blood search warrants for anyone who refuses to submit to testing, such as field sobriety testing or a blood draw to determine blood alcohol level. Also on standby will be an officer trained as a drug recognition expert.
“People forget that driving under the influence isn’t just alcohol,” said Mara. “It’s any substance that can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications as well as illegal drugs, can also result in DUI charges.”
Saturation patrols are designed to make highways safer and to increase public awareness of the hazards of drinking and driving. The idea behind announcing saturated patrols and roadblocks in advance is to prevent impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel in the first place as opposed to catching them on the road.
You can help make the streets safer by calling 668-7000 or 911 if you see a vehicle being operated in an unsafe manner.
McMinnville Police Department’s saturation operation is called “Be A Survivor: Get A Designated Driver” and receives funding from the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office to help pay the expense of saturation patrols.