Official: Laws will be enforced for Stateline New Year’s Eve celebration |

Official: Laws will be enforced for Stateline New Year’s Eve celebration

Sgt. Jim Halsey, Douglas County Sheriff's Office

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department is readying itself for the upcoming New Years Eve celebration at Lake Tahoe. Each year, upwards of 65,000 celebrants ring in the New Year in the casino core of Stateline.

For the safety of the celebrants, U.S. Highway 50 may be closed this year to all vehicle traffic at about the 9 p.m. hour. Vehicle traffic will be detoured around the casino core using upper and lower Lake Parkway.

Those drivers anticipating traveling through the casino core that evening should allow themselves an additional thirty minutes of travel time. Additionally, due to past poor road conditions caused by weather, anyone traveling in the area should have snow tires on their vehicle or carry tire chains with them.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department will be present in the casino-core area, along with numerous other agencies to augment the sheriff’s office.

Other participating agencies include: Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City Sheriff’s Department, South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Nevada Department of Prisons, Placer County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Support agencies include the Douglas County Communications Center, Douglas County Road Department, Cal-Trans and NDOT – who have been instrumental in assisting the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department with clearing and reopening of the roadway after past celebrations.

Sheriff Ron Pierini has directed all officers to adopt a non-confrontational attitude in their contacts with the celebrants. This method of enforcement has been extremely effective in years past. The celebrants appreciate law enforcement’s balance of protecting life and property while at the same time allowing the celebrants to ring in the New Year. There are, however, behaviors that will not be tolerated by law enforcement.

Acts that will most likely result in an arrest include any act that places celebrants or law enforcement in jeopardy, including: acts of vandalism, theft, narcotic violations, rowdy behavior or fighting, throwing projectiles, possession or setting off of fireworks, drunkenness, minors consuming or possessing alcohol or any other act that disrupts the goal of achieving a peaceful and safe environment for all in attendance.

Open containers of alcohol are prohibited within the casino core area. Glass or metal containers regardless of contents are prohibited in the casino core area, and will be confiscated by law enforcement.

Parents must be mindful of their children’s whereabouts and activities, especially during New Years. The crowd that gathers in the casino core for the New Year celebration is neither conducive nor intended for participation by juveniles. Each year during New Year’s Eve, a large percentage of the arrests and law enforcement contacts made are of persons under the age of twenty-one. The curfew in Douglas County is midnight on Sunday, Dec. 31. Persons under the age of 18 are subject to arrest and or citation for being in violation of this ordinance.

All persons under the age of twenty-one who are in possession of alcohol or who have consumed or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be subject to arrest.

In addition to the augmented law enforcement staffing in the casino core area during New Years Eve, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department will have a full complement of patrol personnel on duty in both the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe areas to handle calls for service and conduct traffic enforcement, particularly targeting intoxicated drivers.

All persons who consume alcohol during their New Years Eve celebration are encouraged to catch a ride with a sober driver, or utilize a local taxi service.

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