Great Falls Police Department (GFPD)

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - According to AAA, DUI arrests peak between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. 

To help combat drunk drivers, the Great Falls Police Department is ramping up patrol. 

They are doing what they do every year: adding extra patrol officers to help with DUI enforcement, noise complaints, and even fireworks complaints. 

"They're going to start in the late afternoon [Thursday]. The extra crew that we have coming on. So, they'll be out there to supplement our afternoon and into our night shift and they'll work into the early morning hours on January first," Lieutenant Doug Otto with GFPD said. 

Otto said they are prepared for a high number of calls and they will be watching closely for anyone driving under the influence throughout the evening. 

"Obviously with bars closing early, that doesn't mean that people are going to go home and call it a night. People are going to want to celebrate still. So, they'll be out to make sure we don't have any disturbances or anything along those lines," Otto said. 

Fireworks are allowed from 10:00 PM to 12:30 AM, and Otto reminds the public to be respectful of their neighbors. 

"There are people that have issues with loud noise, there are animals that have issues with the loud noise, and it just sometimes puts a lot of anxiety for those out there. We just ask neighbors to be responsible and respectful of those around them. And then also be that good neighbor and clean up after yourself so you don't have that mess out there for somebody else to have to deal with," Otto said. 

As many people are looking to put 2020 in the rearview mirror, Otto reminds everyone to have a plan as we celebrate the new year. Meaning, if you drink - don't drive and if you drive - don't drink. 

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