Safety reminders for New Year's Eve Celebrations

SARASOTA, Fla. – December 29, 2014 – 8:30 a.m.

The men and women of the Sarasota Police Department are working to make sure our community can enjoy a safe start to the New Year. To make sure our community stays safe, officers are encouraging people to avoid driving while intoxicated and refrain from discharging weapons in the air as a way of celebrating the arrival of 2015.

The annual Pineapple Drop will be held again in downtown Sarasota at Lemon Avenue and Main Street. The Sarasota Police Department is asking those planning to celebrate, leave backpacks, coolers and alcohol at home; these things will not be allowed into the event area. Officers will have checkpoints set up throughout the area.

Some individuals have celebrated the arrival of the New Year by firing a weapon into the air. This is known as celebratory gunfire and is dangerous and illegal. "What goes up, must come down." A bullet fired into the air is going to come down and the unintended consequences can be tragic. It is against the law to fire a weapon in the City of Sarasota; Violators can expect to be arrested. Please see our Public Service Announcement asking visitors and residents to refrain from celebratory gunfire at http://youtu.be/9MaODNzokxo

If part of your holiday celebrations include consuming alcoholic beverages, plan ahead by not driving while impaired. There are safer and less expensive ways of travel: Use a designated driver, take a taxi or take advantage of the free ‘Tow to Go’ service offered through AAA. For Tow to Go in Sarasota, you can call 1-855-2-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) The Sarasota Police Department will be out on New Year’s Eve and there will be no tolerance for the dangerous act of drinking and driving.