Cops will target DUIs for New Year’s safety
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
December 31, 2012
Three law enforcement agencies will have extra eyes on Jackson Hole revelers New Year’s Eve.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol, Jackson Police Department and Teton County Sheriff’s Office will field extra people to spot drunk drivers and underage drinkers.
“We are beefing up our patrols,” Teton County Undersheriff Bob Gilliam said Friday. “We will have some additional DUI enforcement out at various points throughout the weekend and especially on New Year’s Eve.”
Gilliam didn’t know how many additional deputies would be on duty, but he said there would be at least “a couple” more patrol cars on the streets than usual. Deputies will have DUI prevention as their primary job.
In the town of Jackson, the police department will have at least three extra officers on duty to watch partygoers who are ringing in 2013, said Lt. Cole Nethercott. He said DUI prevention and watching for underage drinkers will be their focus.
“We hope everyone celebrates responsibly,” Nethercott said. “Think ahead before you go out, and have a plan. Don’t get stuck with no way to get home. Our hope is that the extra officers will not be needed.” There also will be extra police on state highways in the area, as the Wyoming Highway Patrol plans to conduct “saturation patrols” to look for impaired drivers, according to a release sent out Thursday.
State and federal grants will fund the increased law enforcement by the three agencies. The exact amount to be spent was unclear Friday as agencies finalized their patrol schedules.
If your plan for the night includes the START bus, be aware that there is no service on any route past midnight.
The last bus to Jackson from Teton Village leaves the village at 11:40 p.m. and makes a few stops along Highway 390 on the way to town. Going the other direction, the last stop of the night within the town of Jackson is at 11:14 p.m., arriving in Teton Village at 11:35.
The last town shuttles in either direction both make their final stop around 10:30 p.m. After the last bus runs, the options are to take a taxi or use a designated driver.
People who attempt to walk home should be aware that the town’s public intoxication laws apply to anyone who appears too impaired to make it home safely. The state’s intoxicated pedestrian statutes apply when someone appears too impaired for their own safety or is blocking traffic in a public right-of-way.
If you see anyone who appears to be driving drunk, the state’s hotline number to report them is 800-442-9090. Teton County Dispatch can be reached at 733-2331 to report any incidents requiring law enforcement attention.