State police upping patrols on New Year's Eve - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

State police upping patrols on New Year's Eve

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State and local police are already warning drivers that they will be cracking down on New Year's Eve.

State police say while they're not holding any planned sobriety checkpoints, they will be upping patrols throughout the state to catch impaired drivers.

"Our hope is that you celebrate responsibly," said Trooper Todd Nolan with the Massachusetts State Police. 

That's the message state police are spreading as arguably the biggest party night of the year approaches.

Drivers can expect to see more state and local police on roadways Tuesday night as people head out for their New Year's celebrations.

"We can't say this enough, drinking and driving just do not mix," Nolan said. 

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, there were 123 drunk driving-related deaths in the state last year, accounting for 35 percent of all traffic deaths.

And MADD says it doesn't just cost human life but also costs Massachusetts taxpayers upwards of $860 million a year.

State police say they're trying to prevent that loss of human life by saturating areas with extra patrols.

They warn that getting caught comes with severe penalties.

"If you take the breathalyzer and you fail it, it's an automatic license suspension for 30 days. If you refuse it, you lose your license for six months," Nolan said. 

State police are urging people celebrating Tuesday to use public transportation and designated drivers.

Here in Western Mass, the United Way is partnering with Yellow Cab to bring people home.

The program begins on New Year's Eve at 8:00 p.m. and continues through 6:00 a.m. on New Year's Day.

The Yellow Cab Company of Springfield will give a free ride home to anyone in the Hampden County, South Hadley and Granby area to the home address on their valid Massachusetts ID. The number to call is 413-739-9999.

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