DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) – New Year’s Eve is a busy time for law enforcement, and in Baldwin County, Daphne Police are already increasing patrols ahead of the weekend.
“DUI is a problem all over the country around the holidays. There’s always an uptick and ultimately making the decision to get behind the wheel of that vehicle while you’re intoxicated could cost you your life, or cost someone else their life,” said Chief Brian Gulsby.
Officers will be out during peak times Saturday, especially around midnight as celebrations occur up and down the Eastern Shore to ring in the new year. Gulsby says plan ahead for a ride.
“I only had a couple of beers kind of thing, that never works out. Call Lyft, call Uber, call a taxi,” he explained.
It’s not just traffic offenses keeping police busy each New Year’s weekend, though. Gulsby says officers respond to noise complaints, too, including celebratory gunfire, which he says won’t be tolerated.
“When it comes back to earth it’s still traveling fast enough to crash through ceilings and roofs and can potentially injure or kill someone,” Gulsby added.
He says the department responds to dozens of complaints every New Year’s Eve. Residents call police reporting shots fired in neighborhoods across Daphne. Some of those calls are fireworks mistaken for gunshots.
“It is taxing on the manpower. If we find anybody that had fired a gun, or that we witness fire a gun, we could take criminal action against that,” he said.
Gulsby reminds residents there’s also an ordinance prohibiting fireworks in the city of Daphne. While those offenses don’t have harsh punishments, Gulsby says officers still have to respond to each call and citations could be issued.