Region 8 police, restaurants prepare for New Year's Eve

Region 8 police, restaurants prepare for New Year's Eve

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - New Year's Eve is a night of celebrations and recollections.

But the last day of the year is also quite possibly the busiest night of the year for law enforcement.

In the past five years, the  the Jonesboro Police Department department reported a total of 52 DWI, DUI and Public Intoxication arrests during the New Year's Eve and New Year's Day holiday period. Keeping with the trend, the department expects six to 14 of those arrests this year and has increased patrols accordingly.

"If we do stop you and arrest you, our goal is we've taken you off the street which may have saved the life of somebody else," said Sgt. George Martin.

Those in the entertainment business are also preparing for one of the busiest nights of the year. 

Restaurants like Skinny J's in Jonesboro are putting in extra hours to make sure you not only have a good time but also make it home and avoid going to jail. 

"You never know what to expect," said Skinny J's Manager Sarah Reeves. "We're fully staffed."

Reeves said that means 20 sets of eyes will be on their customers.

"All of that staff will be used to kind of be looking around, making sure people aren't overdoing it," Reeves said. 

But if the number of drinks starts getting hazy for some customers, Reeves takes responsibility. 

"Some people will overdo it no matter what," Reeves said. "We keep the cab numbers close, we've got a few people personally that will be giving people sober rides home."

Reeves is one of those people, giving up her time and car to make sure customers get home safely. 

"It gets fun," Reeves said. "You see a lot of different people you wouldn't normally see. You get some good stories. I've had people make sandwiches in their houses and bring them back out to me. I've had people just give me some gas money."

Jonesboro police commend Sarah for taking that initiative. 

"You can actually ultimately save a life by stopping that friend or relative from driving," said Sgt. Martin. "Just one drink impairs your judgment. Be responsible. Before you even leave, have a plan in place how you're going to get home. Don't drive, have a friend come, use a cab, use the buses. We want you to get home safely."

To make sure of that, Reeves said her night will end around 2:30 a.m.

"Be safe out there," Reeves said. "Don't drink and drive. Nobody wants anything like that on the holidays."

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