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Extra patrols planned
New Year’s Eve revelers urged to drive safely
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Police Department and Virginia State Police will have additional patrols for New Year’s Eve as officers look out for motorists drinking and driving.
“Pretty much for the rest of the week, we’ll have extra patrols out, extra personnel out,” Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry said Monday. “We want everyone to have a safe new year.”
Perry declined to comment when asked if there will be sobriety checkpoints.
The Virginia State Police will have additional patrols as well as sobriety checkpoints at undisclosed locations, said spokesman Sgt. Robert Carpentieri. At checkpoints, officers will check driver’s licenses and registrations, and if officers smell alcohol, they will do field sobriety tests, Carpentieri said.
“We are trying to cut down on drunk driving and wrecks we have had in the past,” he said. “We want people to be responsible out there.”
He referred to the slogan to drive “smart, safe and sober,” and said, “You know, it makes sense. Hopefully, people will adhere to that.”
Interim Martinsville Police Chief Eddie Cassady said: “We are going to have some extra patrol out. Officers will be looking for (such things as) people driving under the influence and reckless driving....”
“Checkpoints are always a possibility,” he said, declining to be more specific.
Cassady urged motorists to be responsible, and to plan ahead and have a designated driver, who does not drink on the holiday.
“The main thing is everyone gets home safely and we don’t have any injuries,” he said.
“I think all the bars in the city say, ‘If somebody has too much too drink, we offer to call for a ride for them,’” Cassady said.
“Use common sense. Just don’t drink and drive,” he added.