The state's largest parade had dozens of arrests and tickets, but police in New Haven say they had fewer incidents.
Police said they credit their idea of teaming up with the state's liquor commission and doing inspections at bars and restaurants while the parade was underway.
Tens of thousands of people lined the streets of New Haven for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade.
About 200 officers were assigned to 130 locations on the parade route and in the downtown entertainment district, police said.
"About three years ago, they really cracked down," said Ryan Wynne, of New Haven.
New Haven police in recent years have tried to limit the public drinking. This year they teamed up with the state's liquor commission and did unannounced inspections while the parade was underway.
"We were prepared and kept the peace. Officers remarked at how much more cooperative people have become in recent years since public drinking has gone from something frowned upon to something that results in action. We've certainly seen an increase in the number of families who bring their young children to watch the parade. It's once again a family friendly event,"police said in a statement Monday.
Chris Candido, who is one of the owners of Temple Grill, said he was ready for it.
"They did a really good job meeting with us ahead of time letting us know their goals and that there concerns are met," Candido said.
State officials said they checked 12 businesses near the parade route on Sunday. Three were cited for serving underage customers.
Police ticketed 36 people for drinking in public and 20 people were taken into police custody. Police said about 40 people were taken to the hospital for drinking too much alcohol.
The bar owners did not seem to mind the inspections during the height of the parade.
"It wasn't a super strict - turn your lights on, everybody stop moving event," Candido said. "The liquor commish agents were working with customers saying, 'Hey, we're here for your benefit as our own.'"
"It was interesting to see a lot of the reactions from people who seemed to be nervous about them being there," Wynne said.
Wynne said he saw the inspections at an undisclosed bar on Sunday and he said it seemed to work.
"It definitely enforces it, definitely keeps it a lot stricter," Wynne said.
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