Staying Safe on New Year's Eve

By: Abbie Schrader Email
By: Abbie Schrader Email
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UPDATE 12/31/2013 9:30 AM

New Year's Eve is a time to say goodbye to the troubles of the past year and celebrate a fresh start. But many of those celebrations involve alcohol.

Local law enforcement will be cracking down to keep those who have been drinking off the roads.

"We will have extra patrols out and we have areas that are known to be higher incidents as far as drunk driving is concerned", says Sheriff Larry Mincks of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

"We have grant funded patrol units in addition to what our normal shift coverage units are so we will have some extra officers on the streets New Years Eve and New Years Day", says Chief Joseph Martin of the Parkersburg Police Department.

There were over 4,000 D.U.I arrests in West Virginia in 2012. Close to 90 of them resulted in an accident with a fatality. With New Year's Eve being one of the biggest drinking nights of the year, police are not taking it lightly.

"We have a pretty strict zero tolerance stance when it comes to drinking and driving so we will aggressively pursue that whether it's new years eve or any other night", says Martin.

The city of Parkersburg has had 224 drunk driving arrests so far in 2013 and police are hoping that number doesn't rise come Tuesday night.

If you do plan on drinking on New Year's Eve, whether it's at a bar or a house party, make sure you plan ahead and do not get behind the wheel of a car.

"Have a designated driver. That is zero tolerance as far as alcohol is concerned. Not even one drink. Or cabs you can call. Or you can even have people at your party who are designated drivers and they can just shuttle them home".

So enjoy welcoming in 2014, just be safe doing it.

With 2013 coming to an end a lot of people will be out celebrating.

And with those celebrations comes the drinking and possible driving too.

But police are prepared to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Police all around the state are gearing up for New Year's Eve as it is one of the biggest drinking nights of the year.

And here in Parkersburg they're taking extra steps to help keep the roads safe.

Whether you're going to be celebrating at a house party or somewhere along the bar scene, if you are going to be consuming any alcohol police are advising you do not drive.

Most drunk driving arrests occur between midnight and 3 a.m. - around bar closing time.

And while New Year's Eve gives people extra reason to celebrate, it tends to give them extra reason to drink more alcohol as well.

West Virginia had over 4,000 DUI arrests last year and close to 90 resulted in an accident with a fatality.

And that it not something police take lightly.

"We take DUI's very seriously. We've had 224 up to this point of this year, 2013. And we have a pretty strict zero tolerance stance when it comes to drinking and driving," says Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin.

And there will be extra patrols out all New Year's Eve.

The blood alcohol content is .08, which typically is 1 to 2 drinks per hour.

And with the amount of alcohol expected to be consumed Tuesday night it will make for a very busy night for police all over.

Chief Martin advises that if you are going to be out, whether at a bar or party, and plan on drinking be sure to have a designated driver or call a cab.

Also expect to see DUI check points.

It's all about common sense and being courteous to others on the road.

Enjoy celebrating - just be safe about it.

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