NORFOLK, Va. — As people plan to pack Grace O'Malley's in downtown Norfolk for St. Patrick's Day, bar manager Ashley Thompson and her staff are gearing up for the fun, but also to be a watchful eye to keep everyone safe.
"Our bar staff, as well as our servers, are trained to take certain tests online to know when somebody has reached their limit, when to cut that person off, when to offer them water, and when to ask for help when it's gone too far," she said.
Putting safety high on the priority list alongside places like Grace O'Malley's is the Norfolk Police Department. The department is getting a jump start on road safety, setting up checkpoints Thursday night.
"I know a lot of people say it's a bad thing. They don't want to get caught, but at the same time, you'd rather get caught than not see tomorrow," said Norfolk resident, Matthew Eagle.
"Cops have to do their jobs to keep the society safe so we gotta be responsible and uber," said Giovanni Dolmo, who said he's planning to be out on St. Patrick's Day with friends.
People in Norfolk understand this is the police keeping everyone safe and Thompson thinks it's an important partnership between police and businesses.
"A lot of them come in for lunch so we've created that bond where we can trust each other," said Thompson.
She said she's on board with police spreading the awareness early to not drink and drive, and as a business, they'll do their part too.
"We'll call an Uber. We'll call a Lyft. We'll do something to make sure they get home safe before they hurt somebody else or themselves," she said.
Norfolk police said if you come across a checkpoint and police stop you, stop and follow directions.