Sioux Falls police patrol unsafe driving on New Year's Eve - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Sioux Falls police patrol unsafe driving on New Year's Eve

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Many of us spent the night ringing in the new year with a cocktail or two.

For Sioux Falls police, the holiday means working overtime.

KSFY News looked into what police did to help keep partygoers safe when hitting the road home.

The Sioux Falls police department celebrated the new year by putting extra shifts on the streets in an effort it calls, saturation patrols.

Those patrols are meant to remind people to party safely by making the right choices before and after you go out to celebrate.

Sioux Falls police officer Adam Buiter said "there's plenty of people out driving on new year's eve. unfortunately, people do make the choice to possibly drive intoxicated or drive in a reckless manner on new year's eve."

And people making bad choices after a night of celebrating can kick their new year off to a bad start.

"Buzzed driving is still enough to get you arrested," Buiter said.

You might think there's a big difference between being drunk and being buzzed, but the police don't.

"Everybody kind of defines when they're buzzed and when they're drunk on different levels but really, if you are feeling the effects of alcohol, the South Dakota statute says if you are impaired by the effects of alcohol, you can be arrested for DUI," Buiter said.

And so extra officers were called in last night and put on duty as part of the city's saturation patrols.

Police patrolled the streets of sioux falls throughout the night on New Year's Eve and into the early hours of the morning.

Their goal? Looking for ways to get the new year off to a safe start for all of us.

"DUI enforcement, accident reduction and addressing the issue of people not wearing their seat belts, and injuries or fatalities that can come out of that as a result if you possibly get into an accident," Buiter said.

Police said avoid the trouble and get a sober friend to drive.

"If you haven't made that choice, be smart enough to call for a taxi because the couple of dollars that you spend then and the little extra time will save you so much more money and hassle down the road," Buiter said.

Police are still working on total numbers for last night's patrols.

The saturation team caught more than a dozen drunk drivers and wrote about 150 tickets.

They expect to release a final count tomorrow morning.

But no matter the finally tally, they say it was a busy night.

Police tell us part of the challenge of the saturation patrols are the volume of drivers on New Year's Eve.

AAA said 40 percent of all traffic accidents during the holidays are because of drinking and driving.

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