El Paso

NIAAA: New Year's Eve 7th deadliest day for drinking and driving

NIAAA New Years Eve 7th deadliest day...

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has ranked New Year's Eve as the seventh deadliest day in the year when it comes to drinking and driving.

 Saturday evening, bars were getting stocked up for one of the biggest celebrations of the year.

"On New Year's Eve we'll probably be at capacity, at about a hundred a hundred and fifty people," said Gus Galindo, Manager at the Rockin Cigar Bar and Grill.

Galindo has been in the business about 25 years. He said there's some signs to watch out for when customers drink too much.

"You listen for the slurring. When they have a hard time getting out some words and their mannerisms will change," Galindo said.

"Falling asleep or just getting a little sluggish that's a good way to tell if someone has had too much to drink," said David Morales, bar manager at the Brass Monkey in west El Paso.

Morales said his staff will be keeping a close eye on clients this New Year's Eve.

"You have to take care of people and make sure you keep an eye on them, that they're doing good they are not inebriated to the point they cant drive," Morales said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the Christmas period an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day. Those numbers soared to 54 per day over the New Year's holiday.

Bar managers said there' a few things bar staff do when someone has had to much to drink.

"We'll cut them off or if they ask for another round we'll switch them out with water," said Galindo.

"We'll give them some food or get them a taxi," Morales said.

A manager for Ditzy Duck and College Drop Out bars said he's paid for a customers Uber or taxi several times as well.

Bar staff told ABC-7 there's one fail-safe phone app that's a must if you're going to be drinking.

"Uber is very affordable and they show up right away and you know they aren't drinking so you're going to get home safe," Morales said.
 In 2015 the city had a program where someone could call a number and get a free sober drive home.

The program ended that year -- bar managers say that program needs to come back.   


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