A safe and happy new year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A safe and happy new year

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Another New Year's Eve countdown is almost here and no doubt it's a time to celebrate, but it's also time to play it safe.

Champagne and icy roads make January 1st one of the most dangerous single days to be on the road all year long. Area police will be out looking for intoxicated drivers, but it will be up to those serving the drinks to make sure party goers don't get out of hand.

Bar tenders are perfecting their mixing skills for one of their biggest nights of the year. The Barmuda Corporation, which owns several nightclubs, restaurants, and lounges in the Cedar Valley has taken steps to make sure all their customers have a safe night. 

"Definitely we emphasize our designated driver program, which we offer the incentive to anybody who does want to be the designated driver that we will give them free soft drinks all night long and it's half price admission, Vice President of Operations Kyle Dehmlow said.

Ruth Crowell of Kansas will be spending her New Year's Eve traveling and she hopes other drivers are sober behind the wheel.

"It's very important because obviously a lot of people out there are on the road and if anybody is drinking to celebrate bringing in the new year make sure they're not the one driving the car," Crowell said.

The Iowa State Patrol, like many police agencies across Eastern Iowa, say they will not increase the number of officers on the road on News Year's Eve.

"We'll have our usual manpower out there looking for intoxicated drivers and making sure everyone has a safe and joyous new year," Sergeant John Baber of Iowa State Patrol said.

To make sure their patrons have a ride home the Barmuda Corporation is offering a shuttle a bus to two locations. 

"We're taking people from Black Hawk Village to College Hill where they do not have to driver anywhere in those surrounding areas.  They can get on the shuttle and have a free safe ride from venue to venue."

Sergeant Baber says that he encourages drivers to either call a taxi or even rent a limo. He says the price tag for a DUI is much more expensive than either of those solutions.


Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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