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Police Step Up Patrols for St. Patrick's Day

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa law enforcement is stepping up its patrols through Monday for St. Patrick's Day festivities.

The Des Moines Register reports that local and state officers will be out in greater numbers to keep watch for drunken drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says at least 269 people were killed in drunken-driving related crashes nationwide on the holiday between 2007 and 2011.

Iowa State Patrol Lt. Randy Kunert says spring fever can contribute to people drinking outdoors in beer tents, which in turn can increase the number of alcohol-related incidents.

Des Moines police Sgt. Dan Blom says officers will be working overtime to patrol the streets and a noon parade. Monday's forecast for St. Patrick's Day calls for sunny skies and a high of 56 degrees in Des Moines.