Winnipeg police urge New Year’s Eve revelers to find a safe way home – Winnipeg


New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights for restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

With only one day to go, businesses around Winnipeg are gearing up for the big evening.

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“Last year, our event sold out,” said Theo Tutkaluk, manager of The Pint. “We had a really great crowd, lots of people, lots of fun and champagne all around.”

With lots of alcoholic beverages flowing, it can be hard on staff to make sure customers are being responsible when they leave.

Couple enjoying some beverages

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“We always encourage our guests to drink responsibly,” Tutkaluk said. “We want them to have lots of fun, but make sure you have a ride home, of course.

“It is one of the busiest nights for a reason and we want to make sure our customers have an opportunity to enjoy us for night to come, not just on New Year’s Eve.”

Winnipeg police say people are starting to choose safer alternatives to get home. In 2015, they stopped 1,325 vehicles and caught 12 impaired drivers.

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This year, police have reportedly stopped over 2,000 vehicles so far and have caught 10 impaired drivers — one of whom was under the influence of cannabis.

“We will be looking for signs of impairment, whether it’s by alcohol or cannabis,” Winnipeg Police Services’ Cst. Rob Carver said. “Every driver will be assessed for signs of impairment.”

While officers want people to enjoy their celebrations, they want people to be safe.

Winnipeg Police officer performing a check stop

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“If you’re drinking or if you’re going to use cannabis, choose a different way to get around. Use public transit — which is free on New Year’s Eve — call a cab, use a rideshare or get a designated driver. Choose one of those options, but don’t choose to drive.”

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Operation Red Nose is another option for getting home safely, with Dec. 31 being their last night of operation this season.

They’ve provided 1298 rides so far, and expect New Year’s Eve to be their busiest night of the year.

The demand for the service is up by 100 rides from this time last year.