Law enforcement stepping up New Year's patrol

TULSA - The countdown to the New Year has begun.

But with that comes the deadliest day of the year for alcohol-related deaths on the road. So local law enforcement is cracking down to keep you safe.

Officials hope you remember one thing before you celebrate. They say drinking and driving can cost you much more than a hefty fine. It can ruin lives.

"The fact is, it's too scary too many Oklahomans are dying on our roads. And it's a plain simple fact: if you drink, you drive, you lose," said Tulsa police officer Craig Murray.

Starting Thursday night, authorities hit the roads and bars, trying to stop potential DUI drivers in their tracks.

"We want people to go out and have a good time. Just not get to the point of intoxication, where they're not going to be safe to get home," said ABLE Commission agent Erik Smoot.

ABLE Commission agents will check in at several Tulsa bars to make sure bartenders aren't over-serving customers.

Meanwhile state troopers, deputies and police will keep an eye on the roads, sending out extra manpower around the city's highways.

These saturation points are no secret. Troopers say they'll be out in force on I-44, Highway 169, US-75 and I-244.

Whether you're enjoying the ball drop out on the town or at a house party, officials urge you to plan ahead.

"It's planning out your evening. Knowing that if you are planning to drink, then have a designated driver," said AAA Oklahoma spokesman Danial Karnes.

If you live in Bartlesville, Muskogee, Tahlequah or the Tulsa metro you can take advantage of "tipsy tow" from AAA Oklahoma.

A tow truck will pick you up for free and drop you off at home as long as it's within 15 miles. Just call 800-AAA-HELP.

And if you're hosting a party, you're still not off the hook.

"It's important to remember it's better to be a good friend, then a great host. Because a friend will take the keys and make sure you don't leave that party drinking and driving," Karnes said.

Officials say the goal is simple: zero drunk driving crashes leading up to a healthy, happy New Year.  
 

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