SALEM, Va. -

Do you have big plans for St. Patty's Day in Roanoke this weekend?

Police across the Roanoke Valley sure do.   

They're calling it Operation Lucky Strike Force.  Saint Patrick's Day festivities in Roanoke, like the celebrations this Saturday, have become more popular.

Police have taken notice. Now, with a new regional police enforcement agreement, several localities are working together to make sure the celebrating stays safe.

"Because of the agreement, we will definitely be in a better position to help each other out," said Salem Police Deputy Chief Tim Guthrie.

"Communication is a big part of it, staying in touch with the other jursidictions," said Roanoke County Police Sergeant Jay Matze.

If you're going to Roanoke City, you've got to get through either Salem, Vinton or Roanoke County first.

Thanks to new partnerships among the police departments, keeping the roads safe, especially on Saint Patty's day can be.

"A joint combined effort of all the valley jurisdictions and we can put our heads together, we can put our manpower together," said Guthrie.

That manpower includes around 30 additional officers than would normally be out on a Saturday.  Police are using a data-driven approach, targeting specific roads at specific times throughout this weekend.

"We will be on the back roads. It gives us more freedom to be on the back roads and the shortcuts we know people take and things like that," Sergeant Matze said.

If you're planning on drinking, have a plan to get home.

Police don't want you to become part of their plans either.
"This is totally preventable, alcohol-related crashes, especially during St. Patricks Day," said Matze.

Virginia State Police will also play a huge role in keeping the major roads and highways safe.

It says, since 2007, over 270 people statewide have died in alcohol-related crashes on Saint Patty's Day Weekend.