SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – In just a couple of days, an exciting time of year takes place across thousands of communities. Consisting of a sociable time for people to share laughs and many memories up until and after the clock strikes midnight, New Year’s Eve is an event a majority of people look forward to.
As many people travel, attend a party, go to a restaurant or bar, a high percentage of individuals 21 years and older are consuming alcoholic beverages.
According to the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and in an article from The Oklahoman, 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, involves drunk drivers. That is a 12 percent increase over the remaining month of December.
With the numbers showing that drunk driving has been a result from New Year’s Eve, there is always the possibility that police departments may be busy that night.
Locally, Southwick Police Lieutenant Kevin Bishop said that reports of any accidents, DUI’s, or any other police reports on New Year’s Eve, has been relatively quiet the past few years.
“I think people have been more socially responsible,” said Bishop.
Nevertheless, the Southwick Police Department is giving out tips to help their community stay safe on Saturday night.
“We’re just asking people if they are going to drink, just drink responsibly,” said Bishop.
Having a designated driver who isn’t drinking is the smartest idea for those who are drinking. A common note of reality that Bishop always stresses is that “you never want to start a new year with an arrest.”
Bishop and the rest of the police department also recommend that people use a taxi or popular ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.
Also with snow-storms and other bad weather always a potential threat at this time of year, Bishop advises that those who are responsibly driving on New Year’s eve, be aware of any bad conditions like sleet, hail, black ice, heavy rain, snow, and so on.