Eau Claire (WQOW) - Authorities say more people tend to drink and drive around New Year's Eve. That's why local law enforcement is beefing up patrols to help keep the community safe.
The Eau Claire Police Department will have eight extra officers patrolling Tuesday night and many will be starting shifts earlier to help in the wee hours of the morning.
Officer Josh Miller said extra manpower is called in to deal with OWI enforcement, loud parties, and disorderly situations.
Miller said if you think a taxi ride or Uber is too expensive, driving under the influence comes at a much greater cost.
"When you look at the cost of an OWI, the fines start at about $800 and only go up from there," said Miller. "Then if you're at too high of a blood alcohol content, you could be required to have an ignition interlock device. Then you have insurance premiums that go up after that, on top of a driver's license suspension and revocation. It's always best just to be safe and pay that little so you don't have to pay so much in the end."
Miller said it's hard to predict if OWI numbers will be higher compared to years past, but Eau Claire police are prepared for both regular service calls and New Year's Eve-related incidents.