Roads buzzing with increased patrols this New Year’s Eve | NevadaAppeal.com
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Roads buzzing with increased patrols this New Year’s Eve

by F.T. Norton

When revelers hit the roads tonight, Sheriff Kenny Furlong warns, they’d be wise to have a designated driver or they may end up ringing in the New Year behind bars.

Beginning tonight and into Thursday morning, the Carson City Sheriff’s Department will have extra officers enforcing traffic, with their sights focused on snagging impaired drivers, he said.

“Overindulging and driving a vehicle only endangers the safety and welfare of everyone in town – lives are lost, properties are damaged. We will not tolerate drunken driving,” Furlong said. “We will bring in the New Year with zero tolerance for persons operating motor vehicles under the influence, or driving erratically.”

Overtime pay for the “You Drink & Drive, You Lose,” campaign will be paid by a Joining Forces grant administered by the Nevada Office of Traffic Safety.

“We are encouraging businesses hosting parties to police their crowds and ensure those people who are celebrating with alcohol are of age,” Furlong said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 17,000 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes nationally in 2002, representing a death every 30 minutes. An estimated 258,000 people were injured in crashes where police reported alcohol was present – an average of one person injured every two minutes.

“Impaired drivers represent one of our nation’s greatest threats,” said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge.

In addition to increased patrols by sheriff’s deputies of Carson roadways, reserve deputies will be assisting with crowd control in Lake Tahoe, and Carson City’s mounted unit will be in Reno to assist with events there.

“Both of those locations have a high concentration of partygoers and we are supporting those agencies,” he said.

The Nevada Highway Patrol will have 30 troopers and seven sergeants assigned to Lake Tahoe during Wednesday night’s revelries. Twenty-seven troopers and five sergeants will be assigned to traffic operations in Reno and Carson City.

According to Trooper Rob Stepien, Highway 50 in Stateline will be closed to traffic from Lake Park Way to Stateline Avenue from 9 p.m. to about 2 a.m.

“Both the open container of alcohol ordinance and laws prohibiting glass or metal containers will be in effect during the South Lake Tahoe event and will be enforced,” Stepien warned. “All containers of this nature will be confiscated and disposed of. This offense may result in arrest for any persons caught with these containers on a public street.”

Contact F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.