Law enforcement urging residents to ring in the New Year safely

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Whether you’re watching the ball drop at home with your family, hosting a gathering or counting down until midnight at a public place safety should be your top priority.

If you have a drink make sure you know how you’re getting home. 

“Do everything you can to get to and from where you’re going to safely,” said Nathan Mccauley with the Bakersfield Police Department.

Law enforcement will be in full force monitoring drivers on our roadways. 

“It’s a very busy day for us here,” said Mccauley. We’ll have maximum numbers of units here available, maximum patrols out. We’ll have added shifts here to have as many officers out on the street as we can.”

According to the CHP, last New Year’s 17 people died on California roadways and nearly 300 others were injured as a result of alcohol-related crashes. 

“Let’s remember New Year’s for joy, laughter, and peace not for heartache, regret, and sadness as a result of an alcohol-related crash that is 100 percent preventable,” said Doug Shupe, AAA spokesperson.

CHP also arrested more than 1100 drivers for DUI. 

“A person that is convicted of a first time DUI offense, could face more than $21,000 in fines.” 

Shupe reminds drivers they have options. 

AAA  will take you home for free and tow your car through its Tipsy Tow program. There are some restrictions though. The program is free as long as your trip is under seven miles. The service excludes passengers and it is only a one-way drive to your home or hotel where you’re staying. 

Bud Light is also offering a free service during New Year’s Eve. Rides will be offered from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. within the Bakersfield metro area. 

And if you’re celebrating at home do so safely. No fireworks or celebratory gunshots.

“This is a very unsafe practice and can cause a risk to people, serious injury or death,” said Mccauley. What goes up must come down. If shotspotter is recording things at your home, we will show up at your home and see what’s going on.”

You can take advantage of AAA’s Tipsy Tow’s program by calling 1(800)400-4222. You can hold of Bud Light’s program by calling them at (661)431-3854.

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