Drink Responsibly or Pay the Stiff Price - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/31/02

Drink Responsibly or Pay the Stiff Price

Cars lined up at the strip preparing for the biggest celebration day of the year, but the party doesn't come without a stiff warning. If you're planning to drink and drive or drink underage on Tuesday night, beware a small army of law officers are looking for you. A trip to the strip probably took a little longer than normal Tuesday.

"Traffic's been good so far. It's hard to tell if it's busier than last year, but it's been busy," said Johnnie Stone, manager at Doc's.

While many plan to take their alcohol home, if you do go to parties, bars, or clubs, remember there are stiff penalties for drinking and driving -- and officers will be looking for you.

"The Department of Public Safety, all state troopers will be out in full force," said John Gonzalez, DPS trooper.

"We're going to be out in force, looking for alcoholic beverage violations -- that's serving alcohol to minors, minors in possession, or intoxicated customers, things of that sort," said Dan Cullers, a TABC agent.

Local law enforcement agencies say they will not tolerate drunk driving, and the price you'll pay is steep.

"If you get stopped by one of our troopers, even for a seatbelt, you will get a citation, if you get stopped (Tuesday night) and you've been drinking and are intoxicated, you will be arrested for DWI," Gonzalez said.

DPS and Lubbock Police officers will be outside working city and county streets, while TABC agents will be inside watching the bars and clubs.

"We want everyone to have a good time (Tuesday night), but we want them to do it responsibly and legally," Cullers said.

"We hope and encourage people to make some wise choices (Tuesday night), a designated driver, call a taxi cab, there are other programs in Lubbock that will give you a free ride no questions asked, and we encourage those programs be utilized by folks who do intend to drink," Gonzalez said.

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