Monday, December 9 2013 9:54 AM EST2013-12-09 14:54:27 GMT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- New Year's Eve is traditionally the biggest party night of the year, and with wintry weather moving in, that makes for a dangerous combination.
Hundreds of people lost their lives on Kentucky and Indiana roadways in 2012, and dozens of those accidents involved alcohol use.
Mary Sanchez is a tough Master Trooper -- one of her favorite tasks is writing tickets. "Just pick a number we can write as many as we like," said Sanchez.
We got to see her in action on I-65 in Jeffersonville.
"We just met our first customer," Sanchez said as her radar went off. "I clocked him running 76 coming up behind us and passing us."
But she gets the greatest pleasure in helping people. Trooper Sanchez has kept people safe for nearly 30 years with Indiana State police.
"Alright not only did we catch him speeding but he doesn't have his seatbelt on, very dangerous combination," said Sanchez of the man she pulled over.
On New Year's Eve, police will be amping up patrols. "We're going to be looking for that impaired driver first and foremost," said Sanchez.
Many people will be on the roads going to and from parties, and many times, those drivers have been drinking. "You may think that you're safe to drive, and, 'Oh I've drank this much before and I've made it home okay.' Maybe all that means is that you didn't get caught and you got lucky," said Sanchez.
Sanchez suggests using a designated driver to avoid dangerous, even deadly consequences. "We definitely don't want to see any fatality we don't even want personal injury accidents out here," she said.
With the wintry weather we're expecting, Sanchez says slow down and keep your distance between other cars. "If you see an impaired driver, make sure that you call 911 and call it out so that hopefully we can get out there and chase it down," Sanchez advised.
Louisville Metro Police will have heavier patrols in areas where they usually see a lot of drunk driving, like Bardstown Road, Shelbyville Road, Frankfort Avenue, and Main Street.
"Ultimately we want everybody to have a safe trip home and to wake up tomorrow and celebrate the new year," said Sanchez.
Having a plan is key -- whether that means having a designated driver, or storing some taxi cab numbers in your phone.