WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– It’s no Times Square but downtown Wilmington is always a popular spot to ring in the New Year. Question is, can revelers keep themselves under control and will the cops be ready for them if they can’t?
“Historically here in Wilmington on New Year’s Eve we actually have less drunk driving than what I think we may have on a (random) weekend,” says Sgt. Mike Donelson of the Wilmington Police Department.”Hopefully it stays that way.”
Police say that this year they will not be setting up a major checkpoint with the “batmobile”. Instead they will be using, what they call, saturation patrols where they ride around looking for violators.
“If your going to drink please call a cab, get a designated driver, or just stay home. It’s just not worth it,” says Sgt. Donelson.
Businesses say that along with the normal crowd will also be 300 Canadian soldiers form Camp Lejeune. For the most part, this increased off duty military presence does not have businesses we talked with worried.
“You mix 4 marine guys and 4 college guys and you’re going to get the same outcome, young guys that are ready to get wild,” says downtown business owner Hunter Ford. “So you have that element of it but generally I think that everyone is in good order. There’s enough police presence down here.”
Businesses say that one major issue could be trying to hail a cab because of the number of people out and about.
Police say designating a sober driver should be part of your New Year’s Eve plans.