Going out on New Year’s? Don’t drive drunk

POULSBO — Officers from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s and Poulsbo Police departments made about 140 DUI arrests in the area in 2011.

Elsewhere on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas, Washington State Patrol made 1,377 arrests in 2011 as of October.

Be sure not to start 2012 with your name on those lists of offenders.

Cab companies around North Kitsap implore celebrants to get a safe ride home New Year’s Eve — either with them, or by designating a sober driver.

Richard Meikle, owner of Alpha Transportation in Silverdale, has seen the “cab scene” change in the last few years, where bar patrons are making sure they have a designated driver instead of grabbing a cab, to save money. However, for nights like New Year’s Eve, he and other taxi services will be on call all night for the influx of folks out celebrating.

Taxis and Tours in Suquamish serves North Kitsap to Bremerton. A manager, Adam, said he expects his company will be busy Saturday night; business has been increasing in the last few months.

“It may seem like it adds expense to the night,” Adam said of using a cab. “But it’s much cheaper than a DUI or spending the night in jail.”Janet Dyer, dispatcher with Troll’s Taxi in Bremerton, agreed.

“Set $20 aside so you can pay for your cab ride home,” she said. “Let’s keep all the drunks off the road.”

Clearwater Casino will provide a free shuttle service to a few Poulsbo locations and Bainbridge Island. Between 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and 4 a.m. Jan. 1, the shuttle will take revelers to Guesthouse Inn and Suites, Poulsbo Inn  and Poulsbo Marina.

This is also the second year Clearwater Casino is holding a safe driving campaign. Staff will be encouraging everyone to fill out a pledge card, denoting that they are a sober driver or have a sober driver. For every card turned in, Clearwater will donate $50 to Kitsap MADD, up to $1,500. April Leigh, media coordinator, said the casino donated $1,500 last year.

Law enforcement officers will appreciate your pledge to get a safe ride home. As of Dec. 28, there have been 56 DUI arrests by  Poulsbo Police, and 80 arrests in Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo and Suquamish by Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies.

All over the area, the number of DUI arrests is down about 7 percent, according to State Patrol statistics for District 8, which includes the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.

- Alpha Trans-portation: (360) 286-8357 (senior and military discounts).
- Kingston Cab: (360) 297-5009.
- Taxis and Tours: (360) 698-7660 (senior and military discounts).
- Troll’s Taxi: (360) 478-8600.

For fun celebrations in Kitsap, check out our list in Kitsap Week here.

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