Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 1, 2013

New Year's Eve still a popular party night, but more precautions are taking

GOSHEN — GOSHEN — New Year’s Eve has been the busiest day for sales at Thirty Three Beverage Stop in Goshen, according to owner Jason Nolin.

“I’ve owned it for 11 years and (it) has consistently been the busiest day,” Nolin said.

Customers started buying liquor for their celebrations when the store opened at 8 a.m. Monday and remained a steady flow for rest of the day, he added.

“People buy because it’s much more cost effective to buy a six-pack than to go out and buy it individually at a bar or restaurant,” Nolin said. “And people stay home for the general principal of safety. There has been an increase in the awareness of drinking and driving, so that plays a role and so does the costs of going out.”

Richard Ambrosen of Goshen, bought beer at the store and planned to stay at home to celebrate the new year.

“I’m going to just be home with the boy and staying safe,” Ambrosen said.

Officers in Elkhart County will be working to keep motorists safe on roads, said Elkhart County Undersheriff Sean Holmes,

The Elkhart County Traffic Safety Partnership will be conducting DUI saturation patrols to cover larger areas through the county and cities to help increase safety and awareness, Holmes added.

“We would rather not arrest anybody over New Year’s, but we will if it keeps intoxicated motorists off the streets,” said Holmes, Coordinator for special enforcement. “Crashes are 100 percent preventable. During the holidays there’s an increase in the number of designated drivers, but there’s also an increase in the number of intoxicated drivers.”

McKee’s Irish Pub in Goshen provided free soft drinks for designated drivers with groups celebrating the new year.

“Four different taxi services came starting about midnight to take people home,” Mark Grounds, a bartender, said. “The majority plan to be safe, but there’s always some wanting to drink too much and no one to take them home.”

In 2011, there were 95 crashes involving alcohol with 39 injuries and six fatalities. In 2012, there were 103 crashes involving alcohol and of those there were 40 injuries and three fatalities, Holmes added.

According to IN.Gov, in 2009 there were 1,252 crashes and of those crashes, there were 64 involving alcohol. In 2010, there were 686 crashes in the state of Indiana during the time period of Dec. 31 to Jan 3. Of those crashes, 53 involved alcohol.

Sales were also brisk before noon Monday at Chalet Party Shoppe across town.

Assistant manager Rob Straight was busy ringing up sales for customer after customer while on the phone with a reporter, he said.

“There was twice as many people for a Monday, it’s more like a regular Saturday,” Straight said. “It will get crazier (as the day goes on). People were in at 7 a.m. when we opened. They were traveling and wanted to get it (before leaving).”

He anticipated a brief slow down between 3 and 4 p.m. but expected to be busy right up to closing at 11 p.m. and employees were scheduled to work overlapping shifts for the day.

“We want to help people on the floor, answer their questions and give suggestions,” Straight said, “And to help encourage speedy checkouts and not have long lines.”

Employees at Chalet Party Shoppe asked customers their plans to ring in the new year.

“A lot of people are going out to parties,” Straight said, “and some are staying home.”

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