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Officials take to the road to prevent impaired and dangerous driving on New Year's Eve

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- New Year’s Eve is an exciting time for many people to celebrate the oncoming New Year, but sometimes safety is put on the backseat when making plans for festivities.

The St. Joseph County Traffic Partnership- D.U.I. taskforce gathered police officials from various departments to ensure the safety of people on the road for New Year’s Eve.

Mishawaka Police Department’s Lt. Tim Williams said their main focus for the evening is to keep people safe on the road.

“Our focus right now is safe family travel and a safe New Year’s Eve,” said Lt. Williams. “So our whole goal of the night is to prevent drunk driving. We’re going to be out there looking for that impaired dangerous driver.”

If you’re planning on going out for the New Year parties Lt. Williams urges people to plan alternate transportation or have a sober designated driver.   

“You know you’re going to go out and drink,” said Lt. Williams. So we’re asking you ahead of time to pass the keys. Choose a designated driver amongst your friends when you’re going out. If you don’t want to do that then make plans to call Uber, Lyft, a taxi, or call a relative. Find that safe way home.”

In addition, Lt. Williams said people hosting gatherings should be mindful of the social host law that deems the host potentially responsible and can be charged if their guest is harmed and or harms others.

Lt. Williams wants this evening to be filled with good memories rather than times of loss or accidents. 

“We’ve been very fortunate for the past seven years to not have any fatalities,” said Williams. “And not to have serious injury crashes.”

If someone is in harms way, Lt. Williams said it's better to get that person the necessary help to avoid tragedies over this time of celebration. 

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