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Holiday celebration safety - KOAM TV 7

Holiday celebration safety

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Between St. Patrick's Day, March Madness and the kickoff for Joplin's Third Thursday makes for a very busy downtown Joplin. Thousands are expected to be in the area Thursday evening.

"Traditionally on St. Patrick's day, we have extra officers out on the street, looking for impaired drivers. We discourage impaired drivers from driving, unfortunately they do drive. We do seek out those drivers and see that we get them off the street," Sgt. Trevor Duncan of the Joplin Police Department said.

One downtown business owner has taken matters into his own hands. Jon Buck, owner of JB's Downtown, now offers a shuttle service to get party-goers from his establishment to their point B safely. Buck has seen his efforts contribute to lowered DUI and DWI arrests.

"We're going to be out in our full force to make sure we can take as many people home as we can or to a hotel, motel or residence within the commercial zone of Joplin," Buck said.

Along with the shuttle, Buck has installed a law enforcement-grade breathalyzer in the back of his bar. Since its installation, 1816 people have paid to check their blood alcohol content. Joplin Police come to recalibrate the monitor after every thousand breaths.

"We want everyone to have a good time, we recognize that on St. Patrick's day, people like to drink "adult beverages", however we just want people to be responsible and have a plan. Either have a friend pick them up or call for a taxi and take advantage of some other service so they can get home safely," Sgt. Duncan said.

JPD reports that historically on St. Patrick's Day, more impaired drivers are out and about. Increased numbers of officers will be on the streets.

Buck expects big numbers at his bar with the live performances going on tonight. He hopes customers take advantage of his precautionary measures.

"You take that caring and proactive approach, it's going to ensure your longevity in the business world. Not just sending them out in the streets to fend for themselves. Nobody wants that," Buck said.


 

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