Law enforcement urge drivers to be safe during New Year's Eve celebrations


There's a lot of preparation that happens before the ball drops on New Year's Eve.  For businesses like the Padre Hotel, it's about planning the lights, entertainment and the additional staff and for party goers, law enforcement wants you to focus on getting home safe.

There’s not a day that goes by Michael Benge doesn’t think about his wife, Jada.

“I find joy everyday, but every thing we do has a sadness to it and I don’t want anyone else to go through what we’ve gone through,” he said.

Ten years ago, a drunk driver with two DUI’s killed her, as they went down the street at 95 mph.

“There’s a lot of sadness that comes from that, but the thing was, it was all preventable.  Every bit of it,” said Benge.

New Year’s eve is the busiest time of the year for not only downtown business, but for law enforcement.

“We’re going to have a lot of units out on the road for this weekend,” said Sgt. James Neighbors of the California Highway Patrol.

CHP is on maximum enforcement making sure the roads are safe for everyone.

“Be responsible. Don’t make the holiday a bad day for your family to remember as a bad for the rest of their life,” said Benge.

Popular places like the Padre Hotel where many people will be ringing in the New Year are more than ready to handle the crowd.

“There’s definitely additional security available, all the staff are told how to handle certain situations.  If we do have anyone who seems to be too intoxicated we definitely try to remove them from the situation as best that we can and make sure they have a safe ride home,” said Jessica Neeley of the Padre Hotel.

If you are in a group visiting downtown businesses, law enforcement suggests having a designated driver.


Carlos is on Facebook at

Print this article Back to Top