Making plans for New Year's Eve includes getting home safely | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Making plans for New Year's Eve includes getting home safely

Roving roadchecks will help keep the roads safe Dec. 31.
December 31, 2012 - 3:40 PM

The Vernon RCMP aim to enter 2013 with few, if any, New Year's Eve accidents.

RCMP Spokesperson Gord Molendyk says a full contingent of officers will help them do that.

"There's a good chance you'll encounter a roadcheck, or a few roadchecks," Molendyk says of the roving roadcheckers that will change location throughout the night.

"We want everyone to enjoy themselves," Molendyk says. "That includes not drinking and driving, and planning a safe ride home."

Molendyk says there are several parties downtown Vernon the RCMP are aware of.

"Just after midnight, around a thousand people will be leaving parties all at once," Molendyk says. "And we're prepared for that."

Molendyk says having a safe New Year's Eve is all about planning, on the part of the RCMP and individuals as well. He notes that Vernon doesn't have Operation Red Nose, a volunteer designated driver program. In its absence, people must utilize services like Driving Hands, or organize for one individual in a group of friends to be the DD.

"On a busy night like tonight, there will be longer waits," Molendyk says of the increased demand for designtated driver services. But, he says it's well worth the wait.

"The alternative is not so pleasant," he says.

There will be a number of officers stationed at Silver Star, a popular New Year's Eve destination. Molendyk says there have been issues there in the past, but that increased RCMP presence in recent years has mitigated the problem.

"We've asked extra officers in for Silver Star," Molendyk says.

Molendyk reminds the public that a sober Learner driver is only legal insofar as his or her supervising passenger is sober.

Despite warnings from the RCMP about drinking and driving, accidents still happen.

"There are those that don't heed our advice, and they pay the price," Molendyk says.

—Charlotte Helston

News from © iNFOnews, 2012

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