KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – While many celebrated the new year, local police were gearing up to spot drunk drivers.
In Kettering, officers say they arrested 4 people for OVI during their patrols, which started around 7 p.m.
Many police departments also teamed up with several other establishments to make sure the region was safe.
Places like Hollywood Gaming at the Dayton Racino, where the gaming location held its first New Year’s Eve bash.
Hollywood Gaming is hosting its first annual New Year’s Eve bash.
“You can come here. We’ve got great bands playing we’ve got great food,” General Manager Gary DeWitt described. “Our team members are very welcoming. And it’s a very fun, festive environment.”
But even through all the fun and games, the major racino upped its safety precautions.
“We’ve actually increased our security staff, so we extra security officers on board,” the local Hollywood Gaming vice president explained. “And also, we’ll have the Dayton Police Department. We’ll have officers actually physically on the property as well. And outside of just a security officer, we’ve got numerous additional team members here as well to keep an eye on things. We want folks to come here and have a good time.”
Kettering Police agrees that everyone should enjoy the festivities, but if you get behind the wheel impaired officers are prepared to take you in.
“So far this year, we’ve had 17 fatal crashes that involved alcohol or drugs in Montgomery County alone, resulting in 18 deaths. I mean, that’s 18 deaths too many,” Lt. William Karolyi said. “Tonight, our goal is to not let that number go up to 19 before the year is over with.”
The statistics are one reason why the department assigned four teams specifically to look for drunk drivers.
“You know, there’s a lot things you look for. You know, big thing is speed. Seems like a lot of time people who are impaired, you know, they drive a little bit faster. Their judgement is impaired,” the lieutenant explained. “It may be the way they make a turn– wide turn, a shallow turn– driving with no highlights, traffic control devices, not stopping completely for stop signs– lot of times stopping in the middle of an intersection. And you, sometimes too, we have a driver, we find just passed out in the intersection.”
And police don’t want you to be that driver or the victim of reckless driving, so they ask you to make a plan.
Officials advise calling a friend or family member if you are impaired.
If you’re out in a group, they suggest assigning a designated driver so that new year starts off on the right foot.
Another additional resource includes a free cab service.
The Montgomery County’s Prosecutors Office is offering people who live in the county a free cab ride home for up to $50.
Call 937-449-9999 to get a ride.