SALINAS, Calif.-- The majority of people rang in the New Year with some celebratory drinks, and police officers knew that meant a higher potential for drinking and driving. Police say there is nothing wrong with bringing in the New Year with a champagne cheers, but they worry about people do after that. Salinas Police were reminding people that it's never a good idea to get in a car and drink no matter what day it is, but they still have to be prepared for the reality that New Year's Eve has a bigger potential for that to happen. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving last year's new years,after midnight toasts, seventy people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide. Therefore, after you cheers to 2014 and knock back that last drink, think twice before getting behind the wheel.
"Their driver's license can be suspended. They can be arrested, and put in jail. There would be up to $10,000 expense that they could have with court fees, classes, and attorney fees," a sobering fact Officer Jeff Munoz with Salinas Police Department is reminding people about."We see fatal collisions from drinking and driving all the time, and how it affects both lives, and all of their families."
Munoz, just got out of Court Tuesday for a driving under the influence cases that killed two people, it isn't his first case involving a fatal car accident, and it won't be his last.
Munoz says there's no reason to drink and drive on the holiday because, "even if it takes a $50 cab fee, it's a lot less than if you get arrested for a DUI or taking someone's life."
Salinas Police will had patrols out and asked others who weren't drinking to be vigilant as well because "a lot of things that help the police is people calling 911 when they see people bouncing off the curbs or bouncing of a parked car."
Regardless of where you are or how much you drank Munoz says there's absolutely no excuse to get behind the wheel after your cheers to the new year because there are options like "always get a designated driver. If you are hosting a party take peoples' keys, and if they are too intoxicated don't give them back to them."