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Missoula law enforcement gears up for New Year's Eve

Posted at 3:30 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 20:37:19-05

MISSOULA — Some New Year's Eve celebrations are already underway, while many more will kick off over the next several hours.

Local law enforcement will be out in full force and authorities want you to have a plan in place to get home without getting behind the wheel.

“The plan that we initiated before Christmas was for extra patrols with officers out specifically assigned to detect drunk drivers,” Missoula Police Department spokesman Sgt, Travis Welsh said.

MPD is also be counting on the eyes of the community to help out.

“We’ll be waiting to hear from citizens calling in reports of people that they observe that are making poor decisions on the road,” Sgt. Welsh said.

The number of DUI’s increase with so many out and about ringing in the new year.

Sgt. Welsh says the best way to stay safe and avoid trouble is to have a plan in place before the partying begins.

“Then after you’ve been drinking, typically priorities change. You don’t worry so much about how you’re getting home, especially if you’re having a good time, so the time for you to do that is before you leave the house.”

One option that is available is Tipsy Tow Service. Now in its tenth year, Red’s Towing is once again teaming up with AAA to make sure everyone makes it home safe.

“It’s like an Uber where we give the person a ride, but we also tow their vehicle home, so they’re not worried about leaving it downtown or somewhere to get vandalized or having to go pick it up the next day,” said Monica Hilliard with Red’s Towing.

Hilliard says six drivers will be available, but accidents do take priority, so she suggests calling before the party ends.

“Call a little bit ahead of time if you know the party’s ending and you’re going to need a ride. Give yourself 30 to 45 minutes.”

Along with Tipsy Tow, Sgt Welsh says Uber, Lyft or securing a designated driver gives those who plan on drinking to ring in 2020 plenty of options to avoid getting behind the wheel, hurting yourself and others.

People interested in using the Tipsy Tow Service can call 1-800-AAA-HELP.