Local law enforcement ready to make it a safer New Year's Eve

Local law enforcement ready to make it a safer New Year's Eve

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - For those planning on being out on New Year's Eve, law enforcement wants them to make sure they have a safe way to get back home.

There is a lot happening this weekend between the fireworks and college bowl games, and places like The Market Common are expecting thousands to turn out to celebrate.

However, it's important to keep in mind a night of fun could end badly if revelers are not careful.

"Well, we're expecting a big crowd. You know they're doing the Southern Times Square, and we're going to have the overflow of people going from restaurant to restaurant, and we're staying open till 2," said Britni Gaddy, who works at King Street Grille at The Market Common.

The Southern Times Square Celebration is once again taking place at The Market Common. With the holiday falling on a Saturday and the Clemson Tigers working toward a national title, bars like King Street Grille are expecting big business.

"Last year was the busiest year we ever had as a restaurant," Gaddy said. "This year, Octoberfest broke it, so hopefully we can break the record again."

While the crowds ring in the new year, others will be out making sure they do it safely.

"We've got college bowl games on Saturday night and we've got teams from South Carolina playing, so you know a lot of people are going to be out just for that, not to mention New Year's Eve. So we started on Friday stepping up enforcements, stepping up our visibility. You're going to see us on a lot of these major roads," said South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins.

Collins added he wants people to enjoy their holiday, but to make sure they have a plan in place that doesn't involve driving while intoxicated.

"We hope for the best. We look at last year and the year before that to see if there was an area where we had a problem, and we'll focus on those areas," he said. "But the goal is to get through this whole New Year's Eve with zero fatalities."

Gaddy said if King Street staff thinks a person has had too much too drink, they have the right to stop serving them.

"Also we have business cards for cabs. I call the cab, they know us, cab comes right here on the corner and they get in. Also, a lot of Uber drivers like to hang out at King Street," she said.

Collins stressed that people need to go ahead and plan now for how they'll be getting home after the ball drops and 2017 officially arrives. He added it's important to report any suspicious driving by calling *HP.

"Go out, have a great time on New Year's Eve. Let's end 2016 on a safe note. That way, we're ready to start 2017 fresh," Collins said.

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