Not only are law enforcement officers busy because of poor road conditions this time of year, but with the holiday weekend comes the risk of drunk drivers.
Local authorities know going in to the new year usually involves a few drinks, but they say it's not an excuse to be reckless. Eau Claire bar owners say they are expecting heavy foot traffic on New Year's Eve.
We spoke with a few of them Saturday, about what to expect this weekend and asked for some advice on how to stay safe.
"First of all, pace yourself. It's a long night," said Jeff Moen, bartender for Southtowne Pub. "And second of all, like I said, cab is always the way to go. Places like [Southtowne], couple other bars are probably doing cab ride services. Otherwise, there are plenty of cabs around town. Uber is around town. You can always look around and see if they have drunk buses going all night. So, pretty much anything besides getting behind the wheel is a good option."
And don't forget, local law enforcement is still enforcing the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which is active through the new year. This means more officers will be on the road to deter intoxicated drivers.
"We also have a Public Information campaign that we talk about the effects of driving while intoxicated and also the inattentive driving," said Sgt. Jason Bakken, state patrol, Eau Claire post. "Also there is a DOT app for smartphones. That is the Drive Sober app that is available to all people."
If you suspect an intoxicated driver, call 715-839-4972. If it's an emergency, call 911.