Douglas County Sheriff’s Urges Safe and Sane New Years

Stateline, NV…The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is preparing itself for the upcoming New Years Eve celebration at Lake Tahoe, on Saturday, December 31st, 2011. Each year upwards of 50,000 celebrants ring in the New Year in the casino core area of Stateline, Nevada.

In addition to the projected large number of New Years Eve celebrants, DCSO is expecting increased visitors to the casino core area of Stateline, Nevada on Thursday and Friday preceding New Years Eve. These visitors are projected to attend the SnowGlobe music festival which will take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings in South Lake Tahoe.

Due to the ordinarily high volume of pedestrian traffic expected within the casino core area of Stateline during New Years Eve, U.S. Highway 50 may be closed to vehicle traffic for the safety of the celebrants. If that should occur, vehicle traffic will be diverted around the Stateline casino core area using upper and lower Lake Parkway Drive.

Drivers anticipating traveling through the Stateline casino core area on New Years Eve should allow themselves an additional fifteen minutes of travel time. Drivers transiting the area in wintertime should always anticipate poor road conditions caused by winter weather. They should have snow tires mounted on their vehicle or carry tire chains/cables with them.

Officers of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be present in the Stateline casino-core area throughout New Years Eve, supplemented by officers and representatives of numerous other law enforcement agencies, including Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Prisons, Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Supporting agencies include the Douglas County Communications Center, Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department, Douglas County Road Department, Cal-Trans and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini has directed all officers to adopt a non-confrontational approach in their contacts with the celebrants. This method of enforcement has been extremely effective in past years. The celebrants appreciate the balance of protecting life and property while at the same time allowing them to enthusiastically ring in the New Year. There are, however, behaviors that will not be tolerated by law enforcement.

Incidents that will most likely result in an arrest include acts that place celebrants or law enforcement officers in jeopardy; including acts of rowdy behavior, fighting, throwing projectiles, vandalism, theft, narcotic violations, severe public drunkenness, possession of or discharge of fireworks, minors consuming or possessing alcohol, or any other act that disrupts the goal of achieving a peaceful and safe environment for all in attendance.

Persons planning to attend the New Years Eve celebration in the Stateline, NV area are reminded that per Douglas County Code 9.26.010, glass or metal containers, regardless of contents, are prohibited in the casino core area on New Year’s Eve. Any such containers, including their contents, will be confiscated for destruction by law enforcement. Alcohol or other liquids shall be in a plastic cup, paper cup or other similar vessel. Area casinos are aware of this requirement, and will serve alcoholic beverages in plastic cups throughout the evening.

Parents must be mindful of their children’s whereabouts and activities, especially during the New Years Eve celebration. The crowd that gathers in the casino core area for the event is not conducive or intended for participation by juveniles. Each year during the event, a large percentage of contacts and arrests are made of persons under the age of twenty-one.

The curfew in Douglas County on Saturday, December 31st, 2011, is midnight. Persons under the age of eighteen are subject to citation for being in violation of this ordinance. Persons under the age of twenty-one who are in possession of alcohol or who have consumed or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subject to arrest.

In addition to the augmented law enforcement staffing in the Stateline casino core area during New Years Eve, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will have a full complement of patrol personnel on duty in both the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe areas to handle calls for service and traffic enforcement, particularly targeting intoxicated drivers.

Sheriff Ron Pierini wishes everyone a Safe and Happy New Year; and encourages all those who may consume alcohol during the New Years Eve celebration to catch a ride home with a sober driver, or utilize a local taxi service.