POSTED: Friday, December 30, 2011 - 12:29am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 5:46pm
EL PASO- It's that time of year again, New Year's. It’s a weekend of anticipation and danger, especially on the road.
The El Paso Police Department has a warning for drunk drivers. The department says don't even think about getting behind the wheel if you had anything to drink this New Year's Eve.
The police department is beefing up with extra patrol units to make arrests on New Year's.
It's a no refusal New Year's Eve starting from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. New Year's day. If police suspect a driver has been drinking, but he or she refuses to take a breathalyzer test, a judge will issue a warrant to obtain the driver's blood sample.
"Plan on having an alternate means to your home or to your club or to the party, whatever. There is plenty of options out there. They are all much less expensive than the cost of a DWI charge,” said El Paso Police Spokesperson Darrel Petry.
Lynda Gonzalez of El Paso says New Year's Eve is always a busy time for party goers.
"It's pretty dead before midnight, but once, you know after midnight everybody starts driving to the party. So, it gets a little more hectic on the roads,” said Gonzalez.
Gonzalez also says the fear of drunk drivers is enough to keep her off of the streets.
"We just throw a party at my house, that way everybody has a safe place to stay at night and you don't need a designated driver. You just stay there,” said Gonzalez.
Alicia Faz of El Paso says that she makes sure all of her friends have a safe New Year's.
"Well I'm usually the designated driver, and I always take care of everybody, no matter what. I'm like the mom. So, I always take everybody home and make sure everybody gets home safe,” said Faz.
Faz says that she often sees people getting drunk at El Paso bars, but very rarely do bartenders stop serving them.
"Actually, I don't think they do their job. They need to start doing that. Start monitoring the people leaving drunk. I mean, just basically being drunk. You know what I mean. They need to start monitoring stuff like that. The people that actually work at the bars,” said Faz.
El Paso police want to remind you that even if you're over-served, there are many companies offering free or discounted rides on New year's Eve.
"If they are out there, definitely take advantage of them. But, even if they are not, the cost of a cab ride versus the cost of replacing your car, or hiring an attorney, or posting bond. It doesn't even compare,” said Petry.
El Paso police have issued over 2,500 DWI's this year. That number is down slightly from last year, but the number of alcohol related traffic deaths is higher than last year.