By David Simmons, CSPD Public Information Officer
The holidays are a season of joy and love for many, but it’s also a time for criminals to take advantage of unwary citizens. Keep your family and property safe by taking common-sense precautions and reporting suspicious activities to the police.
And if you’re headed to a party where alcohol is served, plan for a ride home or secure a designated driver, Uber or Lyft. The College Station Police Department constantly works to keep drunk drivers off the roads, so everyone makes it home safely.
If you see suspicious activity, report it to 979-764-3600.
Don’t Provide Easy Targets
Your car and home can be easy targets for burglars looking for holiday gifts. When shopping, remember to hide your valuables and park in well-lit places. Whether you’re out and about or at home, lock, take, and hide Christmas presents and personal belongings. Some people even set an alarm each night as a reminder to make sure their vehicles are secured.
Here are some other sensible tips:
- Keep gifts away from large windows or glass doors where passersby can see into your home.
- Keep porch and driveway lights on to deter criminals from lurking in the shadows and checking out your belongings.
- Beware of porch pirates looking for an easy grab of delivered packages when you’re not home. It’s wise to have a trusted neighbor or friend pick up your deliveries when you’re away.
- After opening gifts, don’t leave the box from your shiny new TV or PS5 on the curb. Instead of advertising to the bad guys, break the boxes down and put them in your recycle bin or take them to a recycling facility.
You should also be vigilant about online deceptions. If the deal seems too good to be true, it may be a scam. Check out the legitimacy of websites and sellers before purchasing anything from an unfamiliar person or website.
Defensive driving is always wise, but it’s essential when roads are packed with shoppers and travelers during the holidays. So always be aware of your surroundings and give your undivided attention to the road.
And don’t forget – it’s illegal to use a mobile device while driving in College Station.
New Year’s Celebrations
Fatal road accidents tend to hit their annual peak between midnight and 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day. That would be a horrific way to bring in the new year. But we can avoid many of these accidents if motorists – and those around them – recognize the red flags and take preventive action.
Stubborn myths about alcohol and its effect on the body contribute significantly to the problem:
MYTH: If you’ve had too much to drink, coffee sobers you up.
Fact: Only time can make you sober again. It takes about two hours for your body to break down the alcohol after one pint of beer. Likewise, it takes about one hour to break down a five-ounce glass of wine.
MYTH: Hard liquor is more intoxicating than beer or wine.
Fact: A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, and a 12-ounce wine cooler contain the same amount of alcohol as 1½ ounces of hard liquor.
MYTH: Drunk people look intoxicated.
Fact: Physical appearance can be misleading. A single drink can impair anyone’s ability to drive. When someone drinks, their judgment is the first thing affected. Vital motor skills are next.
Responsible Party Tips
Common-sense steps can curb excessive drinking and help your designated drivers stay sober if you intend to host a New Year’s Eve party.
Drinking isn’t mandatory for having a good time, so don’t force alcohol on your guests. Instead, offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages for designated drivers and others who prefer not to consume alcohol. In addition, since carbonation encourages the bloodstream to absorb alcohol faster, use non-carbonated bases such as fruit juice for alcohol-laced punches.
It’s also a good idea to avoid serving too many salty snacks, which tend to make people thirsty and want to drink more.
Before the party begins, ask your guests to appoint one or more designated drivers who agree to drink only non-alcoholic beverages. If certain guests are known to drink excessively, let them know drinking and driving at your party are unacceptable.
Don’t let guests mix their drinks. A reliable bartender can help you keep track of the size and number of drinks your guests consume. Don’t allow anyone under the legal drinking age to consume or serve alcohol.
About 90 minutes before your party is scheduled to end, close the bar and serve dessert. Keep in mind that time alone sobers up those who have been drinking.
Drunk Driver Warning Signs
If you’re out driving and witness any of these driver behaviors, note the license plate number and vehicle description and call 911. Don’t try to stop the driver on your own:
- Wide turns.
- Straddling lanes or driving on the centerline.
- Drifting or moving in a straight line at a slight angle to the roadway.
- Driving with the headlights off at night.
- The driver shows signs of being drunk such as eye fixation or a face close to the windshield.
- You see a driver drinking.
- Driving below the speed limit, erratic braking, or stopping without cause.
- A slow response to traffic signals, including sudden stops or delayed starts.
- Nearly striking objects or curbs.
- Weaving or zigzagging across the road.
- Driving on the wrong side of the road or entirely off the roadway.
- Rapid acceleration or deceleration.
The College Station Police Department actively enforces alcohol-related offenses throughout the holiday season, especially on New Year’s Eve.
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year!
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