EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — As many people are starting to plan their evening to celebrate the new year, it’s important to also plan ahead and find a sober and safe ride home no matter where you celebrate.
Some area business owners are gearing up for the new year quite differently than before.
“We’ll be using the eastern ball drop so we’ll be showing that on TV and then at 10 o’clock on the dot we’ll be celebrating New Years and then clearing the house immediately after because that’s our closing time,” Rico Velez, Owner of Dewey’s Corner Pub said.
Restaurant and bar owners like Velez said celebrating the new year amid a pandemic will be a change, especially with the current curfew set in place for El Paso County.
“10 p.m. is usually when people start coming out because they were celebrating earlier at their homes for the adventurous ones,” Velez said, “The energy is going to be really different just because it’s a smaller crowd, it’s an earlier closing, but more than anything because of so many losses this year.”
Dewey’s Corner Pub will open and operating on New Years Eve at a 50% capacity. The owner said people will be allowed in on a first come, first serve basis and welcomes those who may be celebrating alone this year.
“This city has taken a great loss. A lot of loved ones have passed away so it’s a time for them to reflect. Some of them can’t do that at home by themselves so they’d rather do it in the company of somebody else over a couple of beverages. It’s going to be a time to reflect more on what you have versus what you’ve lost,” Velez said.
However, with the closing time at 10 p.m. people should plan ahead if they’re choosing to drink.
According to TxDOT El Paso, there were 20 DUI and alcohol related crashes during the new year from 2018 to 2019.
“The holidays are typically a time to celebrate, be with family and friends. Though that may look different during a pandemic, a DWI crash could quickly ruin a holiday, make things worse because of a wrong decision taken by a driver that decided to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel,” Lauren Macias Cervantes, Spokesperson for TxDOT El Paso said.
“At any of our establishments we offer Ubers. If you are unable to drive home, definitely let the bartender know or the manager on duty and we will call you an Uber at our expense. We just want everybody to be safe and safe people return, so that’s what we definitely want,” Velez shared.
Just for some perspective, TxDOT El Paso said a DWI could cost drivers up to $17,000 in fines, the loss of their license, or even worse – the loss of multiple lives.