State's "Sober and Slammer!" campaign kicks off as holiday parties ramp up

VIDEO: State's "Sober and Slammer!" campaign kicks off as holiday parties ramp up
Published: Dec. 12, 2014 at 3:32 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Bar owners and managers are prepping for New Year's Eve, a night of revelry and responsibility.

"The streets are rampant with people, and we're at max capacity from 10 to 1:30."

"We'll have extra security on that night. Taxis are on speed dial."

The manager of Social, a downtown Charleston restaurant and bar, says he's very fortunate to have a team of veteran bartenders who know how and when to cut a patron off.

"We talk constantly about over serving and how to do it in the right way," says Don Goodemote. "Sometimes it's a very uncomfortable thing to cut somebody off, but it's the responsible thing that you have to do."

Over at the Recovery Room on Upper King Street, bar owner Chris Dimattia says the first signs of over intoxication will be handled quickly.

"We usually have a staff meeting about a week before, and we go over who is working that night, what to look for, and we really don't take any chances. We cut people off at the first chance that we feel like oh no. We don't even want to get involved."

While the liability weighs heavily on bars, owners and managers say people must know their limits.

"Responsibility is the biggest thing, and it comes from both sides," says Goodemote. "It's responsibility from being a responsible drinker, and then responsibility from serving properly."

"If you take the proper precautions as the patron and as the bartender, everyone should be safe, and God forbid nothing happens," says Dimattia.

Drunk driving is the leading cause of deadly crashes in South Carolina, making up about 40 percent of all fatal accidents.