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Celebrate the new year safely, responsibly

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As New Mexicans ring in the new year, the Roswell Police Department is asking that everyone remember to take care of themselves and those around them this New Year’s Eve.

Don’t let bad choices ruin a happy time by causing an accident that could leave people injured or dead. When it comes to driving, everyone must take responsibility for being a safe driver by remembering to:

• never drink and drive. Before you head somewhere where people will be drinking, line up a ride home if you are going to be drinking. Make sure you have a designated driver or have the phone number to a cab, ride service or non-drinking friend willing to pick you up.

Even if you think you will only drink a little bit and won’t be impaired to drive, plan on not driving. Don’t take a risk you could regret – if you live to regret it. And if you are not going to be drinking, consider volunteering to be the designated driver for you and your friends.

• always wear your seatbelt. Making sure your seatbelt is fastened properly only takes a moment but can make a life-and-death difference in a serious accident. Also, make sure your passengers wear their seatbelts and make sure any children in the vehicle are secure in their seatbelts or appropriate child safety seats.

• be patient. There may be more than the usual amount of people on the road New Year’s Eve and into the late-night hours. You might want to allow a little extra time for travel so you’re not rushed while on the road. Always drive defensively and watch out for the other guy.

In addition to acting in a safe manner behind the wheel of a vehicle, people must also know that firing a gun is not an appropriate way to celebrate the new year. With just a few exceptions (and “celebrating” is not one of them), it is illegal to discharge a gun within city limits.

Regardless of your location, random shooting – including into the air – puts people in danger. Any bullets fired upward into the air have to come down somewhere – with potentially serious consequences. You may not mean to hurt anyone, but stray bullets can be deadly. Don’t put someone’s life, as well as your own future, in jeopardy.

Plenty of officers will be on patrol on New Year’s Eve to help keep their communities a safe place amid the celebrating, but everyone’s help is needed to make sure the new year is welcomed in a safe and responsible manner.

Anyone who sees what looks like the actions of a drunk driver, or any other forms of dangerous behavior, is asked to call the Artesia Police Department at 575-746-5000 or dial 911 in the case of an immediate threat or emergency.

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