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Law enforcement remind people to have a safe way home on New Year's Eve

As we get ready to ring in the new year, local law enforcement want to encourage everyone to get home safely.

The Dickinson Police Department will have extra patrol out for part of the weekend, Capt. David Wilkie said. By having a safe way to get home, people won't have to worry about getting a DUI, which could cost someone thousands of dollars in court costs. Chances also decrease to be involved in an accident when you drive sober.

"There's also a stigma to driving drunk," he said. "In a lot of cases, for instance, if you're a delivery driver or you work for an oil company or something like that, a DUI could cost you a job. So you're not just looking at losing your license, you're also looking at losing your livelihood."

Wilkie said bars will sometimes give free soda to designated drivers.

"You can have just as much fun not being drunk as you can being drunk," Wilkie said. "If a person doesn't feel as if they can have as much fun being sober as they can being drunk then just don't pick that person to be your designated driver."

Maj. Fern Moser with the Stark County Sheriff's Office said extra patrol will depend on weather and how things are over the weekend and Sunday. He said they do not foresee putting out extra patrol at this point, but that could always change.

Moser said there are a lot of options available for people to choose from to get home safe.

"First and foremost, find somebody to give you a ride if you've been out drinking," Moser said. "... There's taxis, there's Lyft now, so there's other opportunities to get you from A to B."

Additionally, Moser said it's important for those who are driving sober to stay prepared with extra hats, gloves and other items in their vehicles.

Donny Woolery, manager of Army's West, said he knows of at least five bars in Dickinson that provide taxi vouchers to help people get a safe ride home. Those bars are Army's West, the Southside Saloon, the Eagles Club, Paragon Bowl and Liquid Assets.

Overall, Woolery said it's important that people get home safe on New Year's.

"You want your customers to come back for one but you want them to get home safe," he said. "We want everyone being safe, that's the main thing."

Sydney Mook

Sydney Mook has been covering higher education at the Grand Forks Herald since May 2018. She previously served as the multimedia editor and cops, courts and health reporter at the Dickinson Press from January 2016 to May 2018.  She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in three and half years in December 2015. While at the USD, she worked for the campus newspaper, The Volante, as well as the television news show, Coyote News. She also interned at South Dakota Public Broadcasting and spent the summer before her senior year interning in Fort Knox for the ROTC Cadet Summer Training program. In her spare time, Sydney enjoys cheering on the New York Yankees and the Kentucky Wildcats, as well as playing golf. If you've got an idea for a video be sure to give her a call!

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