The Hangover Report: St. Patrick’s Day Arrests Abound

Boston Police had work to do yesterday.

Boston residents gave their police department no shortage of work at Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The Boston Police report issuing 336 citations for public drinking and making 26 arrests, “primarily for disorderly conduct” as of 6:45 p.m. Sunday. Those numbers mirror figures from previous years, at least in the recent history during which the city has taken a harder line on public drinking. In his eulogy for the more free-wheeling St. Patrick’s Day of yore in the March issue of the magazine, Colin Kingsbury wrote:

In 2009, the Southie state senator Jack Hart told the Herald that “there’s going to be zero tolerance for public drinking at the parade this year.” The Boston Police Department increased the number of officers assigned to the parade that year by 50 percent, some 600 in all, who dutifully issued something like 400 citations and made 13 arrests.

Kingsbury saw this as a sign of the parade’s demise:

I’m quite aware that it’s unlikely that we’ll see an official sanction for our distinguished local tradition, but, really, all we need is for the city to practice a little forbearance and bust people for getting out of hand, not simply for drinking a Harp out of a red cup a few steps from their doorway. That’d require common sense—and maybe the luck of the Irish.

Of course, some people did get out of hand. Among the more graphic incidents, transit police reported arresting a guy for kicking a woman in the throat because she wouldn’t go to a bar with him after the parade.

Meanwhile, because the 17th fell on a weekend, Boston observes Evacuation Day on a Monday. Nominally a remembrance of the Revolutionary War victory in which the British evacuated Boston, Evacuation Day’s occurrence on the day after St. Patrick’s Day this year offers us all sorts of alternative readings. Whether you’re evacuating a jail cell, your money is evacuating your bank account to pay a fine, or your stomach is just evacuating all of its contents, we hope you’re having a happy morning after.

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