CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Police Chief Steve Cooper says there will be six specially-trained officers who will join regular patrols to look for both drug impaired and drunk drivers on New Year’s Eve in the Capital City.

Charleston Police Chief Steve Cooper

“New Year’s Eve is traditionally known as a holiday where a lot of drinking takes place and unfortunately a lot of drinking and driving takes place,” Cooper said. “We will have specialists, they are experts in the area of drinking and driving and impaired driving from the use of drugs.”

Cooper said if a person knows they are planning to drink alcohol they should line-up a designated driver before their activities begin.

“That way they won’t have to worry about being pulled over and arrested,” Cooper said.

Cooper said there’s also a responsibility of those who may not be drinking. If you see something, say something, he said.

“If you see someone staggering to their car and get in–call us–because someone could get hurt or killed. It could be the difference between life and death,” Cooper said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the following behavioral tips:


1. Before drinking, choose a non-drinking friend as a designated driver.

2. Don’t let your friends drive impaired.

3. If you have been drinking, call a taxi or ride service. Download NHTSA’s SaferRide app to help you call a friend or family member, pinpoint your location, and arrange to be picked up.

4. If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.

5. Always wear your seat belt—it’s your best defense against impaired drivers.

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