Douglas County Getting Ready for New Year’s Eve

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is making preparations for the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration at Lake Tahoe starting on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013. Each year upwards of 60,000 celebrants ring in the New Year in the casino core area of Stateline, Nevada.

Due to the ordinarily high volume of celebrants within the Stateline casino core area during the event, U.S. Highway 50 may be closed to vehicle traffic in the evening if necessary for public safety. If that should occur, vehicle traffic will be diverted around the Stateline casino core area using upper and lower Lake Parkway Drive.

This year in the Stateline and South Lake Tahoe area, two special events are expected to bring additional people into the area. In South Lake Tahoe the Snow Globe Musical event will be an attraction as well as the SWAT outdoor musical event at the Horizon Casino.

Drivers anticipating traveling through the Stateline casino core area on New Year’s Eve should allow themselves additional time to make it to their destination on 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 the evening, supplemented by officers and representatives of numerous other law enforcement agencies, including Nevada Highway Patrol, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, and the FBI. Supporting agencies include the Douglas County Communications Center, Tahoe-Douglas Fire 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 goal of the Sheriff’s Office is to protecting life and property while at the same time allowing celebrants 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 Year’s 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 Year’s Eve celebration. The crowd that gathers in the casino core 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 is midnight on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013. 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 Year’s Eve, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Nevada Highway Patrol 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. All persons who consume alcohol during their New Year’s Eve celebration are encouraged to catch a ride with a sober driver, or utilize a local taxi service.