As New Year’s Eve approaches, it’s a time of celebration and festivity. However, it’s crucial to remember the importance of celebrating responsibly, especially when it involves alcohol consumption. Planning ahead can ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

Positively Osceola spoke to St. Cloud Police Officer Ryan Manning, who emphasized the importance of planning ahead and celebrating responsibly. “We obviously don’t want anyone to drive drunk. If we pull you over and you’re drunk, you could face $10,000 in fines, but worse than that, you can be hurt or killed, or kill someone else. So. planning ahead for the evening is key.”

Officer Manning, who is an investigator with St. Cloud PD and rides in the agency’s motorcycle unit, has a clear message for the community, safety should be a top priority, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year.

One key strategy is to have a designated driver. If you plan to drink, arrange for someone who will stay sober to drive you home. This simple step can make a significant difference in preventing accidents and ensuring everyone gets home safely.

Alternatively, utilizing ride services like Uber or Lyft is an excellent way to ensure you don’t drive under the influence. These convenient services are just a few taps away on your smartphone and can be a responsible choice for getting home after celebrating.

AAA’s Tow to Go Program offers another layer of safety. If you find yourself unable to drive safely, this program provides a free tow and transport for you and your vehicle. It’s a valuable resource for those who might have unexpectedly consumed too much.

By taking these precautions, we can all contribute to a safer community and ensure that our celebrations remain joyful and incident-free. Let’s make this New Year’s Eve a memorable one for all the right reasons.

From Positively Osceola, please make the responsible choice not to drive while intoxicated, or even slightly impaired this New Year’s Eve, and always prioritize safety!