ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Before you have fun at Mardi Gras this weekend, there’s one new thing that officials are focusing on – keeping an eye to the sky.

“People like to have rooftop parties and deck-top parties. We’re going to be partnering with the building inspectors to make sure that when those do occur, they occur safely,” says St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson. “We never want to see a back deck collapse because of too many people on it.”

When the beer starts flowing, Dotson says he wants to make sure beads are the only things flying from rooftops and balconies, so they’ll be on the lookout for rickety decks and roofs.

“Our officers, problem property officers and building inspectors, are going to be in the neighborhood. They’ll be able to respond and say ‘you really don’t want to have a party on your roof, here’s what’s going to happen if you do,'” Dotson explains. “The building inspectors certainly have the ability to cite if people don’t take the guidance.”

Dotson also says officers from the city, the county and the Missouri State Highway Patrol will fan out, looking for the typical underage drinking and public urination violations.

After the Grand Parade and street partying, outdoor drinking in Soulard ends at 7 p.m. Saturday; bars close on the inside at 11:30 p.m.

>This Friday, KMOX’s Michael Calhoun is taking Total Information AM on the road, live from Soulard with a complete preview of the country’s second-largest Mardi Gras celebration.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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