Are you planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day?
If so, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and Ottawa Bylaw Regulatory Services are asking that you do so responsibly.
With many set to dress in green, host or attend parties, head out to a local pub --- or simply indulge in green food and beer --- Ottawa police and bylaw want the public to know they will have an increased presence straight thorugh the weekend, especially in areas like Sandy Hill.
"Obviously, St. Patricks' Day is a day where we want people to go out and enjoy themselves and have a little fun, but in the past, we've seen large parties here in Sandy Hill," said
Alison Sandor, an information officer for Ottawa bylaw. "That's why you'll see additional officers because we want to ensure that everyone is respectful of their neighbours while they're celebrating St. Patricks' Day and they're doing it in a law-abiding fashion."
Other main areas of focus include the ByWard Market, Old Ottawa South, near Carleton University and near Algonquin College, though police and bylaw will have increased volume right across the city and will be responding to 3-1-1 calls as well.
Also, in preparation for St. Paddys', police and bylaw officers went door to door, talking to residents about the upcoming weekend.
"They have spoken to both residents, as well as potential partygoers, and the message has been clear with everyone --- want everyone to have a good time but we don't want disruptions to be happening," said OPS Constable. Mike Cudrasov. "Do so peacefully and respect your neighbours."
Those who don't keep the peace could face monetary penalties.
According to Sandor, the most common fines on St. Paddys' are for noise violations, which will put you out $490. She adds that it's not only an issue at night, as they had already handed out fines for noise violations by midday last year.
She adds that sometimes those fines end up in the hands of a landlord, which can leave a tenant in hot water.
"If there's a house party, for example, and we can't get in touch with a tenant, we can actually fine the property owner. So, when a landlord gets a fine like that, they tend not to be happy and will forward it on to their tenants."