Sheriff’s Office prepares for Stateline New Year’s Eve |

Sheriff’s Office prepares for Stateline New Year’s Eve

Staff report
An estimated crowd of 45,000 gathered in the casino corridor to ring in the New Year Monday night.
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune file photo |

Thousands of celebrants are expected to participate in the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Stateline this year.

“Due to the ordinarily high volume of celebrants within the Stateline casino core area during the event, Highway 50 may be closed to vehicle traffic in the evening if necessary for public safety,” Sgt. Pat Brooks said in a statement on Friday. “If that should occur, vehicle traffic will be diverted around the Stateline casino core area using upper and lower Lake Parkway Drive.”

Brooks advised motorists, who planed to travel on Highway 50 through Stateline, to give themselves extra time to get where they’re going.

He said that anyone driving through the mountains should be prepared for winter weather with snow tires and tire chains or cables.

Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies will have help from surrounding agencies throughout the evening, including the Nevada Highway Patrol, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol and the FBI. Supporting agencies include the Douglas County Communications Center, Tahoe-Douglas Fire Department, Cal-Trans and Nevada Department of Transportation.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini, who has a long experience with the celebration, has directed all officers to adopt a nonconfrontational approach in their contacts with the celebrants, Brooks said.

“This method of enforcement has been extremely effective in past years,” he said. “The goal of the Sheriff’s Office is to protect life and property, while at the same time allowing celebrants to enthusiastically ring in the New Year.”

Brooks listed acts that will result in celebrants’ finding themselves in trouble with the law.

“Incidents that will most likely result in an arrest include acts that place celebrants or law enforcement officers in jeopardy; including acts of rowdy behavior, fighting, throwing projectiles, vandalism, theft, narcotic violations, severe public drunkenness, possession of or discharge of fireworks, minors consuming or possessing alcohol, or any other act that disrupts the goal of achieving a peaceful and safe environment for all in attendance.”

Glass or metal containers, regardless of contents, are prohibited in the casino core area on New Year’s Eve by county code, Brooks said. Any bottle, can or glass will be confiscated for destruction by law enforcement.

Stateline casinos know about the requirement and are serving beverages in plastic cups.

Brooks warned that parents should keep track of their children during New Year’s Eve, which isn’t appropriate for juveniles.

“Each year during the event, a large percentage of contacts and arrests are made of persons under the age 21” he said. “The curfew in Douglas County is midnight on Wednesday. Persons under the age of 18 are subject to citation.”

Anyone under the age of 21 isn’t permitted to drink or have alcohol, and is subject to arrest, Brooks said. Those who are under the influence of drugs could also be arrested.

Brooks said the sheriff’s office and Nevada Highway Patrol will be on patrol in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe looking for drunken drivers, as well as responding to calls for service.

“All persons who consume alcohol during their New Year’s Eve celebration are encouraged to catch a ride with a sober driver, or utilize a local taxi service,” he said.

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