Law Enforcement Stresses Safety During the New Year’s Eve Celebrations

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CULLMAN – New Year’s Eve comes this week and folks all over Cullman County are making their plans to celebrate. Whether you are spending New Year’s Eve at home in front of the television waiting for the big ball to drop, laying in bed sound asleep or partying it up with all your family and friends, one thing you need to keep in mind is this – be careful!

Law enforcement throughout the county are stepping up their game for this week’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Cullman City Police will keep a close eye on the city of Cullman, while the Cullman County Sherriff’s Department will man the roads out in the county. The city of Hanceville will face added challenges this year due to the fact Hanceville now sells alcohol.

“As far as New Year’s Eve parties go, it’s fine as long as people stay inside on private property,” said Jeremy Laney, reserve officer and dispatch worker at Hanceville Police Department. “Don’t get into any fights and don’t drive away drunk.”

While Laney gave some sound advice, another Hanceville police officer had the following to add.

“Basic rule of thumb, always have a designated driver and do not drink and drive, of course,” he said. “Law enforcement all across the state will have extra patrols working this year, including Hanceville, so there will be some sobriety check points around.” He continued, “Be responsible – adults need to keep alcohol away from children and be sure there’s not underage drinking going on. Also, adults need to be careful about hosting what we call open house parties where they allow minors to drink. That’s actually a crime and they could be jailed for that, so they need to be aware of it.”

Even though the city of Cullman has sold alcohol for a few years now, the city police will be watching the streets closely New Year’s Eve. Hoping there will be no trouble; they are planning to keep everyone safe and secure to the best of their ability that night.

“People just need to use common sense,” explained Police Chief Kenny Culpepper. “Be sure that they don’t put themselves in a position where they can be injured, whether it is themselves or somebody else or get in trouble with the law. The best thing to do when going to a party where there will be alcohol is to have a designated driver.”

Drinking and driving is very dangerous and is to be avoided at all cost. If a person decides to drive their car after having a few drinks, they will be caught and prosecuted. But what happens once a drunk driver has been pulled over?

“If a person is drunk and gets pulled over, they will be arrested for D.U.I. or Driving Under the Influence. They will stay in jail until there is no longer alcohol in their system. In other words, it would vary. For example, if someone’s blood alcohol level was .26 and somebody else’s was .08, the .08 might get out the next morning whereas the .26 may be there until that afternoon.”

In closing, Chief Culpepper had one last thing to say.

“Just make it a safe holiday. You can use common sense and not have problems and not make it unsafe for someone else.”

Just like the Hanceville and Cullman law enforcement, the Cullman County Sherriff’s department offers the same advice. There will be plenty of extra sheriffs on call New Year’s Eve and all will have your safety as their top priority. Even way far out in the remote areas of the county, their patrol cars will be strolling by and keeping watch. Please help them by being responsible and use extreme caution while out and about.

If you have any questions about the law in connection with your New Year’s Eve plans, feel free to contact your local law enforcement agency at the following phone numbers.

Cullman City Police Department: 256- 734-1434

Cullman County Sheriff's Office: 256-734-0342

Hanceville Police Department:  256-352-9811