Capt. John Murphy of the Scioto County Sheriff's Office said that New Year's is traditionally always a busy time for deputies, not only because of drunk drivers, but also for loud music, domestic disputes and fighting.
Murphy says the sheriff's office will have additional deputies on patrol New Year's Eve to better cover the county, working overtime and paid through a highway safety grant.
Lt. Edward M. Crispen, of the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says they'll have a full-staff out that night also, and are keeping a very close eye on several identified roads where they anticipate most of the problems to occur. But, he says, New Year's has typically been very slow for the patrol.
“I think people know we're out, and we're out in force,” he said. “That time, more than any other time of the year, people get rides when they should. So it's been slow, but we want it to stay that way.”
Capt. Rob Ware of the Portsmouth Police says they'll have the maximum number of officers possible patrolling the streets that night, but he agrees with Crispen that New Year's often has had little criminal activity.
“I think people have become so cognitive of the fact that there's a lot of alcohol involved and that police presence is out there, to get the designated driver and behave a little better,” Ware said.
All departments remind people to be safe this holiday.
“Don't try to guess how much you've had to drink and that you're okay,” Crispen said. “The safest thing to do is, if you drink at all, just have someone drive you.”
For those traveling on the road, he also warns them to be careful and remember that there might be danger on the roads.
“We do have impaired people out there, it's just inevitable,” Crispen said. “Always be cautious and keep your speed down and watch for that other driver. That's 50 percent of the equation.”
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.