OHP, ABLE Plan Major Crackdown On New Year's Eve Drunk Drivers

Monday, December 30th 2013, 5:23 pm
By: Craig Day

State troopers have promised a New Year's crackdown on drunk drivers. The highway patrol and state alcohol enforcement agents will work overtime to watch for people driving drunk.

It's a large-scale operation, modeled after a similar strategy they used a couple of years ago, that was very successful. State troopers teamed with Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement (ABLE) agents for a crackdown on drunk driving for New Year's. The plan worked well, with no New Year's Eve drunk driving deaths in Tulsa.

So, they're joining forces to do it again.

"Tulsa area law enforcement has a big plan for New Year's Eve. We have a lot of tickets for our event, and these tickets are expensive," said Captain George Brown, with OHP.

Twenty state troopers will work overtime to concentrate on Tulsa and Tulsa County.

"We're going to be cracking down on drunk drivers, and of course, along with that, aggressive drivers," said Trooper Antonio Porter.

The focus on those drivers will last from 7 o'clock Tuesday evening until 3 o'clock Wednesday morning.

Eight Oklahoma alcohol enforcement agents will also be working on New Year's Eve.

"If they choose not to take a cab, we're going to give them a ride, but it's not going to be free," said Lieutenant Erik Smooth, of ABLE.

When you factor in things like fines, court costs, attorney's fees, and higher insurance rates, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol estimates a DUI can cost $19,000.

"They will pay the cost, and they will go to jail," Porter said.

In 2012, 261 people in Oklahoma died in alcohol related crashes. With the possibility of more drunk drivers on the road over the holiday, law enforcement officers stress they'll be watching for what is a 100 percent preventable crime.

"A cab driver, a designated driver--we don't want them making the wrong choice of having a couple of drinks and thinking they can get behind the wheel," Porter said.

ABLE agents will also have minors in bars, making sure alcohol isn't being sold to anyone under the age of 21.

There are several ways, to get a free ride home.

Tipsy Tow is a confidential local ride within a 15-mile radius from point of pick up. Details about Tipsy Tow are below.

• AAA takes the driver and up to one more person, and their car, home;

• Free and available to both AAA members and nonmembers;

• Motorists call 800-AAA-HELP (800-222-4357) and ask for Tipsy Tow;

• AAA will do the rest.

There's also Missy's Keys 4 Cabs, which you can reach by calling 918-928-7708 or asking for a Keys4Cabs taxi voucher from you server.