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Taxi firms await NYE callers; police await troubled drivers

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Sherrie Madewell says taxi dispatchers are taking calls in the interest of public safety. Sherrie Madewell says taxi dispatchers are taking calls in the interest of public safety.
Texarkana Texas Police prepare for a long night on patrol. Texarkana Texas Police prepare for a long night on patrol.
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

Law enforcement officers will be out in full force tonight as people go out to celebrate the start of the new year.

As you prepare for your New Year's Eve plans, the Louisiana State Police has reminders to help you stay safe while you ring in the New Year.

Officials say the best way to avoid accidents is to have a plan. Whether it's taking a cab, getting a ride from a friend, or staying home, planning ahead could make the difference between beginning the New Year on a high note or dealing with tragedy.

Taxi companies also are preparing for the rush of people who will be too drunk to drive home. They say their goal is to keep people safe.
 
Sherrie Madewell, a driver dispatcher for City Taxi in Texarkana, Texas, says her company will be prepared for the holiday rush.
 
"We usually have a larger number of calls on New Years Eve night. A lot of the people are very conscientious of what they are doing when they get out and they drink," Madewell says.

City Taxi and other taxi companies will have extra drivers out for those who may have taken in too much alcohol.

"This time of year, the public safety is our main priority. It's more about the public being taken care of more so than the money," Madewell says.

Others keeping an eye on public safety include law enforcement officers.

"There will be officers out in force, looking for the impaired driver. And, if they find these people, they will get a free ride to jail," says Sgt. Steve Shelly of the Texarkana Texas Police Department.

Shelly advises party-goers to plan in advance for safe transportation. If necessary, call a taxi.

Says Madewell: "We try to accommodate the people as best we can. Sometimes it is a little hard to get everybody taken care of, but we try to be there for the people."

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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