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Duncan readies for New Year's Eve

Duncan_Duncan is already preparing for New Year's Eve - but, not in the way you may think.  Police say it's one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to alcohol related offenses - and they're getting ready. 

In October, 7News told you about a new ordinance in Duncan that helps to fight against underage drinking - The Social Host Ordinance.  The ordinance makes it illegal for adults to allow minors in their home to have any alcoholic beverages and, if caught, they can face up to $500 in fines and 60 days in jail.

Police say they've only had to enforce the new ordinance one time in the two months it's been in effect.  The homeowner caught violating the ordinance made a plea in front of a judge last month and was fined just over $150.  Police say it's a good thing the numbers are so low, but the real test may come New Year's weekend.  It's a time of celebration and fun, and alcohol usually plays a big part in the festivities.  "We hope everybody has a good time and enjoy themselves, but at the same time, be responsible for what's taking place around you," says Duncan Mayor Gene Brown.

That's what Duncan's Social Host Ordinance is all about - holding adults responsible if kids are found drinking in their home.  Brown says he wants to make sure people are looking out for those they are responsible for.  "When everything's saying that there's a problem with teenage drinking, we just wanted to put something out there - to put it on everyone's minds," he says.

The new ordinance went into effect in October and Assistant Police Chief Rick Lang says it's had a good effect on the community.  "We have not had a large number of complaints about loud parties, or anything lately.  It seems like those numbers are down," he says.  He wants to keep them down which is why this New Years Eve, along with the new ordinance, they will be increasing patrols.

"We have extra guys coming in around 8 to 9 o'clock - that's usually when the action gets rolling on those kinds of nights.  And we'll keep them out until well after the bars close at 2," Lang says.  He says they'll really be beefing up patrols in the residential parts of town.

Mayor Brown wants to make sure everyone is doing all they can to have a safe holiday.  "We hope everybody has a good time and enjoy themselves, but at the same time, be responsible for what's taking place around you," he says.

And, police offer a word of advice - find a place you enjoy being, have a good time and stay put. 

Stay safe this season.

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