‘Silent Night’ for New Year’s

A lthough it was the holiday traditionally known for over indulgence with alcohol and the difficulties that come with such activity, New Year’s Eve could not be called a busy night locally, police said.

Christmas might be what people think of when they hear the phrase “silent night,” but law enforcement officials across the region report New Year’s Eve was a close second on the roads, at least.

A holiday known in the past for a high rate of alcohol-related driving arrests and accidents saw few of either across the region, officials said.

Granville village police did not record a single arrest for driving while intoxicated occurring during the period of celebration from Thursday evening until the morning hours of New Year’s Day on Saturday.

But a holiday centered around and chiefly observed with alcohol was not without some activity.

Granville Police Sgt. Dave Williams said the night had seen plenty of activity in the village but little alcohol-fueled trouble – none had been vehicular in nature.

Williams said the patrol officers on New Year’s Eve dealt with a single incident when a husband struck his wife outside a bar. The man was arrested and sent to jail; the incident did involve alcohol, police said.

Williams said he did not know what the New York State Police or Washington County Sheriff’s Office had recorded during the same time period.

“It’s traditionally become a night where there’s higher awareness of enforcement levels so party-goers and the establishments make arrangements to get a safe and sober ride home,” Williams said.

“The department gives courtesy rides home, as well,” he said.

Police reports from the night show no courtesy rides were provided to intoxicated individuals. Intoxicated people found walking are offered rides for their safety and on a typical holiday night the department might provide several, Williams said.

“We want to make sure someone does not get in the road (when walking). We just wanted to get them home safely,” he said.

Awareness of a focused police presence has led people to plan their night out, which includes how to get home without getting in trouble with the law, Williams said.

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