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Danville, VA Police Department Media Releases

Posted on: December 31, 2022

12-31-22 Safety Tips for Celebrating the New Year

The Danville Police Department wishes everyone a Happy New Year, and offers these tips on how to celebrate safely. If you have an emergency, dial 911. For all non-emergencies, call 799-5111 option 8.


Hosting a New Year's party is a fun way to bring in the New Year with loved ones. Help keep your attendees safe during the celebration:

  • Avoid drunk driving by designating someone to collect car keys.
  • Pop champagne bottle corks away from guests and at a 45-degree angle.
  • Enforce a maximum number of alcoholic drinks people can consume.
  • Provide partygoers the opportunity to sleep over in a guest bedroom or on couches.
  • Do not let a person who has been drinking get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Take the person's keys and help arrange a safe ride home.

Serve alcohol responsibly. If you plan on serving alcohol at your New Year’s Eve party, you can do so safely and responsibly with these tips:

  • Use different colored cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to help avoid mix-ups.
  • Provide food, snacks, and plenty of water so guests aren’t drinking on an empty stomach, which can raise a person’s blood alcohol level, causing them to get drunk faster.
  • Keep all alcoholic beverages away from minors, and monitor where bottles are being stored.

Attending a New Year's celebration can be fun, but also full of potential hazards. When attending or traveling, practice proper precautions:

  • Attend the celebration with trusted friends or loved ones.
  • Choose a designated driver responsible for driving the group home from the celebration.
  • Carry a cell phone charger to ensure your cell phone is available in case of an emergency.
  • Consume food before drinking alcoholic beverages.
  • Monitor your alcohol intake, and do not allow yourself (or others who have been drinking) to drive.
  • Always wear a seat belt.
  • Report drunk drivers and suspicious individuals to law enforcement.

Make a plan for guests to get home safely

You should also take steps to ensure your guests can get home safely if they end up drinking too much. Having a number for taxis handy, ordering guests a ride share, assigning a designated driver, or even allowing them to spend the night are all ways to keep them safe.

Practice Firework Safety

If you plan to ring in the New Year with fireworks, make sure you do so legally and safely. Check your local city or town ordinances to ensure fireworks are allowed, and review basic firework safety.

If you have pets, remember that the sudden and loud noises from fireworks can frighten pets and cause them to run away. Keep your pets indoors, preferably in a crate or quiet place, if you plan on setting off fireworks.

New Year’s Safety Tips Away from Home

Planning on heading out for a New Year’s celebration? Keep your home safe and sound while you’re away with these tips:

Don’t Make It Obvious You’re Away

A dark home may not look inviting to you, but it’s exactly what a burglar looks for when casing properties to rob. Burglars want to get in and out as quickly as possible without being see, so make sure to lock your doors and turn your porch lights on to discourage potential break-ins.

Smart door locks and smart lighting make it easy to keep your home locked up and well-lit when you’re not home.

Check Safety Alarms

It’s always a good idea to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and the batteries are fresh, especially if you’re going to be away. This is especially true in the winter months; more house fires occur in December and January than any other time, and January is the deadliest month for carbon monoxide poisonings.

A monitored security system can provide an extra layer of protection for your home while you’re home or away. If an alarm does go off, the monitoring center will contact emergency responders on your behalf, whether you’re home or away. If you’re home when an alarm goes off or an emergency occurs, you can speak to the monitoring center or get help from your smart hub.

Use Security Cameras to Check Your Home

Security cameras let you keep an eye on your home while you’re away while also providing an effective deterrent to prowlers or potential burglars. Doorbell cameras provide a clear view of anyone who comes to your front door, whether they ring the bell or not. Outdoor cameras let you see who’s on your property and can even deter lurkers by playing a warning tone and letting them know they’ve been spotted.

Safe Driving Tips for New Year’s Day

Over 50% of all accidents on New Year’s Day involve alcohol, these tips will keep you and your friends and family safe on the road, whether you’re celebrating with our without alcohol.

Drive Safely

If you plan on ringing in the new year with a few drinks, make sure you have transportation arrangements ahead of time. This could be assigning a designated driver, ensuring ride share apps are updated on your phone, and checking to make sure public transportation is available where you will be celebrating.

Make Arrangements for Your Vehicle

If you drive to your party and end up drinking more than you planned, there’s a chance you’ll need to leave your vehicle parked overnight. More car thefts happen on New Year’s Daythan any other day, so plan ahead by making sure you park in a safe, well-lit area. Be sure to lock all doors and keep valuables out of sight, and pick up your vehicle as soon as possible the next day.

Consider a vehicle monitoring device to keep tabs on your car. That way, if the unfortunate happens and your car is stolen, you’ll be notified immediately and can provide the information to authorities.

Drive Defensively

Driving home from parties when there are drunk drivers on the road is hazardous for everyone. The most dangerous hours of the entire year to be on the road are between 6 PM on December 31 and 6 AM January 1, when people are celebrating the New Year holiday. If you plan on being out during these hours, take extra precaution to drive defensively and call 911 if you see a suspected drunk driver.

New Year’s Day is also the most hazardous day of the year for pedestrians. As you make your way home from parties, be on the lookout for pedestrians who may also be potentially impaired and not paying attention to traffic lights and signs.

Make Your New Year Great

The beginning of a new year is both fun and inspiring, a time to celebrate, set goals, and look forward to new beginnings and opportunities. And with these safety tips, you can keep your celebrations as safe as possible.

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