Thousands of people will be hitting local bars tomorrow night to ring in the new year. But for those planning on driving tomorrow night, staying sober is key to staying safe on the roads.
Every available trooper and police officer in the area will be on the streets looking for drunk drivers.
Alcohol related crashes account for one-third of all deaths on wisconsin roadways. Last year 326 people were killed. So as we approach new years, officers warn against people who think they can handle driving drunk.
This weekend is all about celebrating... And some started celebrating early...Rick McCaleb says he's the drunk driver, "so i don't drink but i'm going to get them home." He and his friends have a plan but Chief Deputy Brad Venaas with the Eau Claire police department says if you don't have one now, get one. "You get caught up in the night if you didn't make plans earlier in the night it might be difficult when the alcohol kicks in... To make good judgement calls," Venaas said.
And even if you make a good decision... What about everyone else?
McCaleb says, 'the other one coming toward you don't know what they did," and his friend Beverly adds, "even when it's not New Year's Eve or a drinking night i worry about other drivers." Since alcohol will be flowing all night in some bars, and since the holiday falls on a weekend, the police department says it's ready for more incidents.
According to Venaas, "drunk driving is very serious, we aggressively enforce it... Those that get arrested go to jail."
And outside the city limits, there will be more State Patrol squad cars cruising, about 45 troopers will be on duty in our region tomorrow night... And so will several taxi drivers... Chief Deputy Venaas wants you to take advantage of their availability.
"You'll get home safe and the community will be safe," he says.
The tavern league is offering free taxi rides home tomorrow night. The city bus service, however, will not have night routes tomorrow night.