How the Lafayette Police Department is preparing for NYE and drunk drivers

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – According to the Insurance Information Institute, since 2011 the number of alcohol-impaired deaths on New Year’s has steadily increased.

News 10 spoke to Officer Karl Ratcliffe with the Lafayette Police Department, who says he wants people to enjoy their night, but to do so responsibly, “I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. And just be responsible when you’re going out. Enjoy yourself but just try to stay safe.”

Ratcliffe says he knows New Year’s Eve is a night when a lot of people tend to drive while intoxicated, so they plan to take the necessary precautions, “We know this is going to be one of the main times of year people will go out and look to have a good time. Just because of those circumstances, we’ll be even more so on the lookout. Just make sure everyone has a safe holiday and makes it into the new year safe.”

While Lafayette Police don’t plan on having DWI checkpoints, there will be a heavy police presence around town.

Ratcliffe tells us, “We will have officers out doing what you call saturation patrols looking for intoxicated drivers, trying to keep those drivers off the roadway. So they will be throughout the city in different areas, especially where we know there’s going to be hot traffic and a lot of people out.”

He encourages drivers to find other ways to get home and prevent getting behind the wheel after a few drinks. Some of his suggestions? Ride share services such as Uber or Lyft.

He says, “It’s just so easy. You put the app on. Usually it’s three to four minutes you only have to wait for somebody to pick you up and bring you to your destination. It’s very cheap. It’s cheaper than paying court costs or paying fines, you know, or being locked up and having to deal with all of that.””

So if you’re out celebrating New Year’s Eve, make sure you find a safe ride home.

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