New Year's Eve is a time for fireworks and fellowship and unfortunately, a high instance of drivers who have had too much to drink.


New Year’s Eve is a time for fireworks and fellowship, celebrations and unfortunately, a high instance of drivers who have had too much to drink.



Impaired driving is a serious crime with sometimes deadly consequences.



“Drunk driving affects hundreds of families,” said Diane Miller, public information spokesman for the City of Havelock.



The statistics are astounding.



“Last year (2012), 24,190 people were ticketed for driving while impaired,” said Patty McQuillan, communications officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.  “From January to November 2013 there were already 20,354 people who had been ticketed for driving while impaired.”



“Generally speaking, obviously there are still those who drive while impaired and that one decision could have a dramatic impact on their life as well as the lives of other people,” said Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus.



Cyrus will have extra staff working the New Year’s Eve holiday and drivers should be prepared to encounter roadblocks and sobriety checkpoints.



“It is our hope that everyone will have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration and we do encourage people to be responsible in their activities during the holiday festivities. And when it comes time to make a decision, if you’ve consumed impairing substances, please allow a sober person to operate the vehicle for you or please consider calling a cab,” said Cyrus.



Party goers can ring in the New Year by being safe and looking out for the safety of others.



“The point is not to discourage people from having a good time on New Year’s Eve, but to encourage people to plan ahead and make sure that everyone makes it home safely and avoid trouble for yourself and for other people out on the road that are being responsible,” Miller said.



Planning ahead means plan on hailing a taxi cab to get you to the party and back home safely.



“Put those numbers in your phone before you go out, even if you plan on one person in the group staying sober and the others having a drink. Put those numbers in your phone,” Miller said.



“We’re always busy, but this is going to be one of the busiest,” said Ralph Blechert, a cab driver for Cherry Cab Company for the last five years.



The company just celebrated its 72nd anniversary three weeks ago. It was founded in 1942 to serve the growing numbers of military personnel at the newly constructed Marine Corps air Station Cherry Point.



 



“We do it right. That’s what counts. We’ve been doing it right all along,” Blechert said



The following is a list of area taxi companies and their numbers to make it easy for revelers to call for a ride when the time comes.



1.      Cherry Cab Company, (252) 447-3101, 221 E Main St, Havelock.



2.      Carolina Cab Company, (252) 447-7744, 116 Trader Ave, Havelock.



3.      Union Cab, (252) 447-0444, 221 E Main St, Havelock.



4.      Designated Driver Taxi, (252) 393-6015, 189 Dogwood Dr, Swansboro.



5.      Tri-City Taxi Cab, (252) 240-2900, 3212 Arendell St, Morehead City.



6.      C/Yah Taxi Service, (252) 259-8369, Trent Woods, NC



7.      Shuttle Me Transportation Service, (252) 637-7433, 200 Terminal Drive, New Bern



8.      Atlantic Beach Taxi, (252) 240-3555, Ft Macon Rd, Atlantic Beach



9.      Carolina Taxi, (910) 938-9000,Jacksonville



10.  Carteret Cab, (252) 247-4600, Bridges St, Morehead City



11.  A-1 Yellow Cab, (252) 504-3680, Atlantic Beach/ Beaufort