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New Years revelers urged to behave
Authorities planning safety checkpoints
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Forsyth County News

Authorities are reminding those who will be celebrating on New Year’s Eve to do so safely.

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office will have extra patrols on Tuesday and into Wednesday, spokesman Doug Rainwater said.

“We will be conducting safety checkpoints throughout the county and New Year’s Eve day and night,” Rainwater said.

Both the specialized DUI Task Force and HEAT, or Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, units will also be on the lookout for impaired drivers, he said.

Rainwater said deputies are typically on high alert between midnight and 2 a.m. New Year’s Day as people drive home from parties.

He urged those celebrating away from home to have a plan in place to get back before they start drinking.

“The best thing is to have a friend with you that’s not drinking alcohol,” he said. “But at least have somebody that you can call to come pick you up.”

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety suggests using its smartphone app called “Drive Sober, Georgia,” which provides options for free or inexpensive rides home.

Harris Blackwood, director of the office, said in a statement that officials “want holiday and New Year’s revelers to go out and enjoy their time with friends and loved ones.

“At the same time, we want those same people to get home safely,” he said. “Usher in the new year by making good choices. Before you toast, designate a sober driver.”

The Forsyth County Fire Department has tips for those who may want to light fireworks as part of their celebration.

Division Chief Jason Shivers reminded residents that only ground-based fireworks are legal to light in Georgia, even if purchased in another state.

Shivers also said only adults should handle fireworks, and all warnings on the packaging should be followed.

“The responsibility lies on the party that’s enjoying the fireworks,” he said. “Please use extreme caution.”