By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Not many people are working on the night of New Year’s Eve.
But for Uber Driver Karla Mackey, it’s one of the busiest nights of the year.
“I’m going to start around four or five o clock and I’ll probably go until five o’clock in the morning,” said Mackey, who’s been driving people around with Uber and a local cab company for 16 years.
“Everybody seems to want to go home right at midnight or midnight to 2 a.m.,” she said. “So drivers are really needed after two am. Lots of drivers.”
Many people will use the ride sharing app to get home tonight. And that’s a good thing – New Year’s Eve can be one of the worst night’s for drunk driving.
In 2017, New Year’s was the deadliest holiday on roads, with nearly 1,000 people killed during a three day period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than 30% of those involved drunk drivers.
“Unfortunately we have people who still drive while intoxicated so hopefully we can combat that problem,” said Lt. Juli McConkey with the Bend Police Department.
The police department and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will have increased patrols on New Year’s Eve.
“Somebody who’s intoxicated is someone who’s weaving all over the road, stopping at a green light, not acting like a normal driver would be,” said Sgt. William Bailey.
He asked anyone who sees someone they think is driving drunk to call the non-emergency dispatch line at 541-693-6911.
“We want the citizens to call in for impaired drivers, because we can’t be everywhere,” he said.
And make sure you plan your ride home ahead of time.
“If you’re adult enough to go out, make sure you’re adult enough to get home,” Bailey said.
The penalty for a first-time DUII arrest can be as much as $6,250 and jail time.