Huntsville police on saturation patrols on New Year’s Eve

Huntsville
Data pix.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - On a night when people are raising their glasses to welcome 2020, police and bar owners are urging party-goers to find a safe ride home at the end of the night.

"Sometimes we'll fake the kids out and pretend that it's midnight at maybe around 10 o'clock and go to bed," Huntsville resident Nate Smith said.

Many people around Huntsville and Madison said they don't plan to go crazy celebrating the new year, but bar owners and police said plenty of people won't be calling it an early night.

"There'll be a couple hundred who come through here at least," Furniture Factory owner Mark Komara said.

"They don't realize that three, four drinks in they're actually impaired and can't operate the vehicle safely," Huntsville Police Sgt. Michael Nelson said.

Huntsville police said there won't be any checkpoints on New Year's Eve. Instead, they're paying officers from their DUI task force to work a longer shift for an evening saturation.

"When you see a car drive by with DUI Task Force on it, hopefully, that gives them a deterrent and they don't want to get out and drink and drive," Sgt. Nelson said.

Fortunately, officers and bar owners said a cheap ride home is less than $20 and a few taps on your phone.

"It's not bad," Komara said. "Way better than the $10,000 or 12,000 you'd have to fight in court."

Komara encourages party-goers who may have overindulged to leave their vehicle and let someone else drive.

"There's nothing wrong with staying home tonight. There's nothing wrong with getting a hotel room downtown. We have a lot of rooms," Sgt. Nelson said. "There's nothing wrong with either one of those. We just want them to be safe when they do it."

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