Sheriff offers New Year’s safety tips

By Matt Lasley -

Grayson County Sheriff Norman Chaffins has offered a number of safety tips for local residents to protect themselves this New Year’s Eve (Thursday, Dec. 31).

Grayson County residents are advised to either stay at home, or, if they’re going to a party or other celebration, have a designated driver and observe whether he or she is still in suitable condition to drive home at the end of the night.

Law enforcement recognizes that individuals will be out celebrating the occasion, and Chaffins advises them to have a contingency plan in case they or their designated drivers have had too much to drink.

Chaffins recommended that individuals have a friend or loved one set aside to pick them up or contact a taxi service if something goes awry with their initial plan.

“It’s just not worth somebody losing their life over,” Chaffins said. “We don’t have any discretion when it comes to drinking and driving. If they drive drunk, they will go to jail.”

The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office also advises anyone who observes someone he or she believes is driving intoxicated to call Grayson County E-911 dispatch with, if possible, a license plate number, the direction of travel, a description of the vehicle, and a call-back number.

“There are going to be a lot of people on the roadways, and many of them will be intoxicated,” Chaffins said. “Obviously, we’re going to be out looking for drunk drivers, but there are 700-plus road miles in Grayson County, so it’s very difficult to catch every drunk driver.”

In addition, Chaffins said, officers are more likely to be able to respond faster if callers stay on the line and continue to provide information to dispatchers.

Despite officers’ patrolling the roadways, statistically, someone will drink and drive between 80 and 85 times before he or she is arrested by the police, Chaffins said, so it is important for county residents to take precautions and report intoxicated drivers to the authorities.

“Our goal is to bring in the new year with zero fatalities, zero injuries, and zero crashes,” said Chaffins.

By Matt Lasley

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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