A quiet New Year's Eve for Pierce County law enforcement
While New Year's Eve is known for people's drinking, that didn't translate to a spike in OWI's or other crime this year in Pierce County. In fact, county police officials said it was abnormally low.
"It was kind of weird," said Prescott Police Chief Eric Michaels. "I'd like to say that people are getting smarter, they're controlling themselves and their alcohol intake. I don't know if that's the reason though."
Prescott only had a handful of incidents — one altercation that ended before officers arrived, a fireworks complaint and an intoxicated individual — which was down from most years. The Pierce County Sheriff's Office issued no OWI's and booked no one into jail on the end of year holiday, said Pierce County Sheriff Nancy Hove.
Typically, law enforcement said there is always some incident that occurs with the holiday's partying atmosphere.
"It was nice and quiet," Hove said. "We always have something on New Year's Eve. It's a busy night with alcohol so you never know."
The sheriff's office doesn't change patrol numbers for the holiday and Hove said that officers out patrolling were "impressed" with the night's lack of antics.
Despite the lack of crime, it didn't result in slow nights for Jason Marks, owner of Broz Bar in Ellsworth.
With more mild temperatures than previous years, Marks said the bar was actually busier than the last three new year's eves, he said.
Getting customers home safe has become a focus for local bar owners on the holiday, while it acts as tool for supporting the business, Marks said. Customers' citations can hurt the business, he said.
"The bar owners, believe it or not, are really trying to do whatever they can possibly do to get people home safe," he said.
He is a part of the Pierce County Tavern League, a county organization that supports local bars, and he said the group tried to help find customer's rides. In Ellsworth, Marks said there were five drivers who were enlisted to give sober rides home to celebratory bar goers.
"It helps our business and they're getting home safe," he said.