Officers watching for drunks

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 31, 2009

NATCHEZ — With enhanced patrols scheduled for New Year’s Eve, Adams County and Concordia Parish sheriff’s office deputies are asking drivers to be safe and smart.

CPSO Public Information Officer Kathleen Stevens said deputies will be patrolling tonight as the ball drops and will be looking for not only speeders and drunk drivers, but seat belt violators as well.

“You’d save an awful lot more lives if every passenger would be buckled,” Stevens said.

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With holiday travelers on the road and partygoers traveling to social engagements, Stevens said it’s important to exercise caution when driving.

“Deputies assure me that New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July have significantly higher numbers of traffic crashes than any other time of the year,” Stevens said.

Stevens said the parish will be offering its Tipsy Taxi service to parish residents who are intoxicated and need a ride home.

“If anyone in our parish doesn’t have a designated driver, we’d rather get them home safely,” Stevens said. “We don’t want anyone taking a chance on the highway.”

To call for the parish’s Tipsy Taxi, call 318-336-5231, 318-757-3162 or 318-386-2200.

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said more of his deputies will also take to the roadways tonight as New Year’s Eve celebrations always bring about more phone calls to his office.

“Friends need to watch out for their friends who are trying to drink and drive. Take their keys.”

Mayfield said if push comes to shove, deputies can use their persuasive talents to keep inebriated drivers out of the driver’s seat.

“If it comes down to it, call the sheriff’s office and we’ll come out there and they definitely won’t be driving.”

Mayfield said while he and his deputies expect that celebrations will occur tonight and that alcohol will be consumed, he also hopes to see responsible decisions being made when it comes to protecting lives.

“It’s a time for alcohol, and that’s all fun and all, but it’s not fun to endanger people’s lives,” Mayfield said.

“Spending New Year’s Day in jail isn’t a very happy way to start a new year — especially with a hangover. But it’d be even worse to deal with a death you caused or someone being injured due to your stupidity.”