Local law enforcement on the lookout for DUIs

Published 12:04 am Saturday, December 29, 2012

File photo | The Natchez Democrat — Local law enforcement will be out in force in an effort to make the holiday weekend safe for area drivers.

NATCHEZ — The New Year is a time for celebration. But local law enforcement officials said they will be ramping up enforcement efforts to ensure celebrations don’t get dangerous or out of hand.

Natchez Police Investigator Jerry Ford said the Natchez Police Department will be doing extra patrols and will have extra officers on the streets to ensure they can accommodate any problems that may occur.

That will especially include making sure those who have imbibed a little too much celebratory champagne don’t get behind the wheel.

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“We are just making sure that people are having a good time, and if they are drinking at parties, they need to get a designated driver because we will be checking for drunk drivers,” he said.

In Concordia Parish, deputies will also be out in force.

But Chief Investigator David Hedrick said that while the officers will be making arrests for DWI, that doesn’t have to be the end result for someone who has been drinking. The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office will offer the free “Tipsy Taxi” service to those who need it.

“Anyone in Concordia Parish, if they have drunk too much or are inebriated in any way, we want them to call us rather than get on the road and hurt some family,” Hedrick said.

“We are not advocating that people drink, but if they are going to and they are thinking about getting behind the wheel, they need to call us first.”

Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield said his deputies would be patrolling the outer areas of the county, and that he would be calling in reserve deputies to help with the effort.

“We will just be making sure nobody has car problems or gets stranded, and of course we will be looking out for DUIs,” Mayfield said.

In addition to looking out for unsafe drivers, Ford said the NPD would be enforcing the city’s bans on some of the noisier New Year’s traditions.

“We will be making sure that people are aware that discharging firearms and fireworks in the city limits is still banned and you cannot do that,” he said.

The Concordia Parish Tipsy Taxi service can be reached by calling the CPSO’s main line at 318-336-5231.