People will say “good-bye” to 2013 and “hello” to 2014 tonight, but don’t ruin the new year by getting behind the wheel after having some adult beverages.
The Huntsville Police Department wants to remind local citizens that they will be patrolling the streets for drunk drivers as people head out to parties and clubs to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
“We want to make sure the community is safe and the best way to do that is to get drunk drivers off the streets,” Lt. Curt Landrum said. “If you drink and drive you will go to jail.”
People are encouraged to stay where they are at if they drink on New Year’s or have someone who is not drinking alcohol drive them home. There is also a taxicab service in Huntsville, Reliable Cab Company, that can take folks to and from their destination. Reliable Cab can be reached at (936) 295-3606.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also announced earlier this month that it was increasing its driving while intoxicated patrols through Thursday for safety concerns. DPS reported that during the Christmas/New Year’s holidays last year, more than 1,200 DWI arrests were made.
“Please have a designated driver or another safe form of transportation if you are going out New Year’s Eve,” Landrum said.
Fireworks are prohibited inside the city limits and people can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which carries a $300 fine, if they are caught transporting or using them.
Walker County has prohibited the use of stick rockets and thin rockets for New Year’s. Wildfires are still a danger even though the county is not currently under a burn ban.
Folks in the county can possess and use other types of fireworks, but are encouraged to follow these tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
• Always read and follow label directions.
• Use outdoors only.
• One shooter is recommended and no one under 16 should handle fireworks.
• Discharge the fireworks on a flat surface.
• Always have water handy (a garden hose and a bucket) or a fire extinguisher.
• Never experiment or make your own fireworks.
• Light only one firework at a time.
• Never re-light a “dud” firework (wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water).
• Never give fireworks, including sparklers, to small children.
• Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then put in a trash can.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
• The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.