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Trooper offers sobering warning of drunk driving

Posted at 10:26 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 23:26:26-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — New Years Eve is a time to celebrate, but for some tonight the party will end in the back seat of a patrol vehicle for drunk driving.

There are hefty fines, possible jail time, and this, isn't even the worst case scenario.

"One out of three total fatality accident in Nebraska involve alcohol," Trooper Jake Arnold said. "Reality sets in pretty quick."

He has been with the Nebraska State Patrol for five years and has arrested plenty of people for driving under the influence.

"I alone made 6 arrests for DUI last week , two of them being felony arrest," Trooper Arnold said.

According to the United States Department of Transportation, hundreds of lives are lost due to holiday drunk drivers

A statistic from the Department's website says over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.

"One aspect of our job is death notification," Trooper Arnold said.

He will never forget a crash that killed a boy and his uncle.

"They were hit by a drunk driver," Trooper Arnold said. "I had to inform the mother of the 9 -year- old boy and that's not something I really ever dreamed of doing while working with the patrol."

Trooper Arnold says a good amount of crashes could be avoided by finding a sober driver.

"I would say, other than St. Patrick's Day, New Years Eve is one of the highest traveled times of the year," Trooper Arnold said. "There is going to be a lot of troopers, let alone other agencies, working the roads looking for impaired drivers."

Since the start of the holiday season, Nebraska State troopers have arrested 66 drunk drivers and roughly 1,100 in 2019.

Trooper Arnold wants everyone to immediately call it in if they see someone driving under the influence.

there are ways to find a free sober ride this new years eve and day.

AAA offers their annual Tipsy Tow-To-Go service. They provide a free ride home and vehicle tow of up-to 10 miles for any driver.

To request, call (855) 286-9246.