FRPD rep gives tips for safe St. Patty’s

By Julie Fiedler Object reference not set to an instance of an object.field:org:hasvalue | Object reference not set to an instance of an object.field:org:display | March 07, 2014

Fake Patty’s Day has become an annual tradition in Manhattan’s Aggieville. The St. Patrick’s Day themed event takes place the weekend before to accommodate Kansas State University’s spring break schedule. This year Fake Patty’s Day is March 8.

As with many St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the revelry often includes drinking alcohol. Community members should take precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.


“The biggest thing is to have a plan,” said Lt. Paul Davis, watch commander, Fort Riley Police Department, Directorate of Emergency Services. “Make sure that you have a designated driver.”

Having a designated driver – someone who will not consume alcohol – and utilizing resources provided by units, like internal designated driver rosters, helps ensure a safe holiday.

As with any weekend, the police department will have a presence on the installation to monitor for safety on the roads.

“(The) Fort Riley Police Department will be out there on Fake Patty’s weekend,” Davis said. “We will be active on the installation. We will be doing (Driving Under the Influence)-saturation patrols.”

If caught with a DUI, drivers can face unpleasant consequences, like loss of on-post driving privileges, citations and fines.

For Soldiers, getting a DUI also involves their chain of command.

“Their unit chain of command has to come down and pick them up (from the police station). That’s never a good moment for a Soldier,” Davis said. “It can affect your career.”

Davis also stressed the importance of basic driving safety, like not driving distracted, wearing a seatbelt, checking the vehicle to make sure all lights and signals are functioning properly, avoiding driving late at night and going the speed limit.

“Speeding is an issue,” Davis said. “It’s a contributing factor to a lot of accidents.”

Alcohol can compound problems for drivers not practicing basic safety guidelines, he added.

Davis also said the motoring public should be on the lookout for others who might be driving while intoxicated.

“Say you’re driving down the road, and you encounter (someone) driving erratically. They’re speeding up and slowing down, or they’re not maintaining their lane. They’re kind of all over the road. If you encounter one of those folks, the best thing for you to do … is to pull over to the side of the road,” he said. “Don’t try to pass them ... Don’t take action on your own. Call us.”

Alerting the local police with a vehicle description and location can help ensure the safety of one’s self and others, he said.

To reach the FRPD desk, call 785-239-6767. For emergency assistance on or off the installation, call 911.


Riley Ride, a shuttle service between Fort Riley and Manhattan, operates from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

The Riley Ride bus picks passengers up at several locations on post, like barracks buildings and common areas, including the Warrior Zone and Custer Hill Bowling Center. The Manhattan stop is located at the intersection of 12th Street and Bluemont Ave.

Soldiers and dependents can purchase tickets on the bus or at the Leisure Travel Center. Tickets cost $5 for two rides or $10 for five rides, and must be paid in cash.

“(Riley Ride) is really important because it stops all the DUIs,” said Stephanie Smith, travel assistant, Leisure Travel Center. “It’s also a very cheap ride.”

A noncommissioned officer is stationed on the bus throughout the night to verify the eligibility of passengers and maintain order, Smith said, adding that Riley Ride helps ensure the safety of its passengers as well as others on the road.

For a full schedule of Riley Ride stops and times, visit

For more information, call the Leisure Travel Center, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, at 785-239-5614.


For those who do indulge in alcoholic beverages, the Army Substance Abuse Program website offers the following tips on drinking responsibly:

• Eating while drinking, or even before, can help slow down the effects of alcohol.

• Drinking slowly at a rate of one alcoholic beverage per hour is preferable to gulping, chugging or doing shots.

• By alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, the body has extra time to process and eliminate some of the alcohol.

For more tips and resources, visit Additional tips from K-State’s counseling website include:

• Know your limit.

• Avoid drinking games.

• Pay attention to serving sizes.

• Do not leave a drink unattended.

• Do not accept drinks from strangers.

For more tips and information, visit