The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office is making sure you get home safely after the New Year’s Eve celebrations. The temptation to drink and drive is way higher on new years eve deputies will be driving people home in hopes of deterring people from driving drunk.
“Hang out with friends, we’re of course drink, play games and just kind of enjoy each other”, said Bryanne Pazera.
Those are usually the New Year’s Eve plans for most, and they almost always include alcohol. Whether it’s at a bar, or party at someone’s house, the drinks are flowing. After the midnight toast and the festivities are done people need a safe ride home. Ride services like, Ubers, or taxis are a usual go to. New Year’s Eve, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office can be added to that list and are giving free rides home to anyone that needs it.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Anthony Miceli said, “there’s a lot of people that don’t go out that drink excessively just on New Years Eve”.
Lt. Miceli continued, “with the all the DUI laws and penalties for DUIs, I’d rather have people get a ride home from us home instead of to jail”.
“Of course we don’t want to risk anyone drinking and driving, and nobody wants to be the designated driver on New Years”, Pazera added.
The Sheriff’s Office has been offering free New Year’s Eve rides for over two decades and again this year they have paired up with LaMonica Beverage Company. Lieutenant Miceli says, this is the only time people choose to be in the back of a squad car.
“The people have fun riding in the squad cars. A lot of people have never been in a squad car and it’s their first time”, Lt. Miceli said.
The people planning to be out celebrating on the holiday say they find comfort with these services.
“I’m sure that they do thorough background checks for people who are allowed to drive uber, but I do trust a police officer way more”, said Pazera .
Officers will take riders anywhere in Winnebago County only, and for those going home that live outside the county they’ll still make sure you get home too.
“If you live in a different county and you’re going from Winnebago to that county, other agencies, the Sheriff of Boone County is really good about it. We’ll meet up at the county line, the other officers will pick you up and take you home to their county”, Lt. Miceli said.
Call the non emergency line at 815-282-2600 to get a ride home from the Sheriff’s Office. The ride service will go from 11pm till 3am, and the officers have been known to make the rides fun and might even turn on the lights.