(Seguin) -- Local law enforcement officials say they want everyone to make it into the new year safely. The Seguin Police Department, the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office, and state troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety Office in Seguin will all be out in force this weekend making sure that people stay safe while out on local and area roadways.
Carlos Contreras, Seguin Police Department public information officer, says the long New Year's holiday weekend is indeed a time to celebrate, but he says they want to make sure that everyone does so in a safe and responsible manner.
"With this upcoming New Year celebration, there's going to be some times where we need to plan ahead, or there will have to be a time where we have to...make sure that we are safe and enjoying our celebrations. Not only that, but (making sure) our family members and our friends (are safe) as well," said Contreras.
Contreras says the Seguin PD is offering some tips on how to celebrate safely. He says the most important thing may be to have a plan before you head out for the night.
"We're strongly recommending anyone that is going to be celebrating the New Year -- ring in the New Year -- to plan it thinking about not only themselves, but everyone that could be effected. So (that's) anyone else that they could come across on the road. So what we want to recommend to everyone is to plan ahead. If they plan on enjoying themselves with adult beverages, to plan ahead on either having a sober driver, a designated sober driver (to) drive the vehicle and not (for) them be behind the wheel while they're drinking and driving, or call up a taxi or an Uber for their area or their destinations, wherever they may be going to as well," said Contreras.
Temperatures on New Year's Eve night are expected to plunge, so party-goers will alsoi need to remember all the winter weather rules. Contreras says you also need to take a few extra steps to make sure you have everything you need, just in case there's an emergency.
"Make sure that they have the phone fully charged or have a charger readily available. So that way if they need to charge their phone, (they have it). Let their friends and family members know where they're going to be going. Where their destination is going to be at. That way if anything were to happen, if there's a lost connection or maybe someone forgot to fill in when they have arrived to their destination, their family members or friends will know exactly -- 'okay, this is where they said they should be at.' This is where we can have a start in locating our friend or family members," said Contreras.
Contreras says they always want people to be safe when they venture out, but he says they also want to use this time to again stress the need for everyone to follow the rules of the road.
"Of course our police officers will be out patroling. We will be handling calls for service that will be coming out around that time frame. Also patroling around to make sure or ensuring that everyone that is inside motor vehicle is restrained properly. Whether it be by seatbelt or a child's seat, things like that. Also people slowing down, (and) not speeding. People yielding the right of way onto oncoming traffic. If they're going to be going through into an intersection from a new roadway, things like that. It's different simple things that we do on a day to day basis out on the road. They will be enforced during the New Year's celebration, while we're rining in the new year. Just so that way we make sure that everyone is being safe and there are no collisions, no accidents, no nothing," said Contreras.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is also offering tips for this New Year's holiday weekend. MADD officials say if you are going out, you should remember these rules:
- Designate a sober driver to make sure you — and everyone with you — arrive home safely this holiday season.
- Reserve a cab prior to heading out.
- Consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event.
- Arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends on the evening of the event so no one drives home impaired.
MADD is also offering tips for people who might be hosting New Year's parties this weekend. The tips include:
- Plan activities like party games or door prizes. Planned activities engage people, make for less active consumption of alcohol, and ensure that your friends remember the great event long after the last piece of confetti has settled.
- Confirm that at least one person in each group is prepared to be the sober designated driver and/or has a plan to get home as guests RSVP.
- Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
- Avoid too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and drink more.
- Offer non-alcoholic beverages or “mocktails” for designated drivers and others who prefer not to drink alcohol.
- If preparing an alcoholic punch, use a non-carbonated base, like fruit juice. Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream faster with a carbonated base.
- Be prepared by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride. Also, be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a bed for guests who need to sleep it off.