It’s St. Patrick’s Day – the day everyone wants to be Irish, but no one wants to be on the roads.

Hillsborough County deputies say they will be stepping up their presence to curb drunk driving. 

“Tonight we’ll be having a heightened patrol,” said Corp. Patrick Saunders of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ll have more DUI deputies on the street. We’re hoping that we don’t have an increase in DUIs, but in case we do, we’ll be prepared with the appropriate amount of deputies.”

One of the tools the sheriff’s office employs for DUI enforcement is a mobile unit with three breathalyzers inside, cutting down on the time it takes to catch, process and put away drunk drivers.

A regular DUI is bad enough, but any aggravating circumstances can make it much worse.

“Sometimes you get an increased charge if you blow over .15 or you have your license suspended,” said Deputy Mary Paulino of the HCSO DUI unit. “It goes anywhere from $500 to get out of jail, upwards of $10,000 for legal fees and stuff like that.”

Bottom line: it’s a night to party, so plan ahead.

“Have fun and drink responsibly,” said Paulino. “But part of being responsible is figuring out what ride you’re gonna have at the end of the night, and it shouldn’t be you if you’ve had too many drinks.”