HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Before you pop that bottle of New Year's Eve champagne when the clock strikes midnight, remember law enforcement wants you to be safe. They'll be out on the roads in full force tonight watching for impaired drivers.
New Year's Eve is one of the busiest and most dangerous nights of the year. Lance Corporal Sunny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol says they see a lot of people making responsible decisions on New Year's Eve by calling a cab or catching a ride with a designated driver. But not everyone makes a responsible decision.
"With New Year's Eve, there's a specific time that people will ring in the new year at midnight, and then start dispersing from parties from here," Collins said. "So, that's when we will really be watching for those impaired drivers."
On what Collins called a "celebration-oriented night," safety is the highest priority. "We will be setting up some checkpoints randomly. Those will be determined as the night moves on."
If you are at a bar and have one-too-many, don't drive. An impaired driver is more likely to crash and hurt themselves or someone else. If it doesn't cost you your life, or someone else's, it will likely mean a police record plus a lot of money in fees and fines.
"It can move into the thousands of dollars quickly," Collins continued. "For a cab ride home... it's much, much less."
No matter where you go for the countdown tonight, make sure you are getting there and back safely for yourself, and other motorists sharing the road with you.
According to the company's Facebook page, Diamond Cab is offering free rides home until January 1 for those who have had too much to drink. The post states to call 448-8888 or ask the bartender for a ride.
On behalf of WMBF News, we wish you a happy New Year.