The 17th March marks St Patricks Day each year to commemorate the Patron St of Ireland who apparently banished all of the snakes form the Emerald Isle (although it is highly contested there were no snakes there to begin with).

The celebrations are held throughout the world with parades and events which see party-goers adorning novelty Irish hats, glasses and of course, drinking pints and pints of Guinness. The largest St Patricks Day parade in the world is held in New York with this year set to see 200,000 people marching up 5th Avenue with millions more spectating.

But those looking to take part in the St Patricks Day tradition of drinking Guinness may be in for a treat as laws which would usually breach the ‘quality of life’ violations such as drinking in public places and urinating in the street will no longer result in arrest but will only be issued with a summons.

The plans came into power on the 7th March, just 10 days before the yearly St Patricks Day festivities.  The District Attorney’s offices said it will allow ‘“the NYPD to devote its resources to investigating serious crimes, while further reducing the backlog of cases in criminal court”.

Those looking to enjoy Guinness on the street this St Patricks Day will not be arrested.
Those looking to enjoy Guinness on the street will not be arrested.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called the plan “an intuitive and modern solution” that would “help safely prevent unnecessary jail time for low-level offenses”.

Whilst this new leniency seems a blessing for St Patricks Day revellers, the state has imposed another ruling which may dampen their spirits. An alcohol ban has been introduced on the city’s Long Island and Upstate (Metro-North) rail lines for the festival. The only other days these lines are alcohol-free are New Year’s Eve and during the Santa-con bar crawl. Drinkers however, will not be arrested but simply have the alcohol confiscated.

What do you think of the law being changed just in time for St Patricks Day parade in New York? Let us know here.

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