Click below...New Years on the beach in RIO
I ask our friend Hal to describe working “the beat” on New Years Eve:
"....As far as holidays go, I grew up considering New Year's Eve/New Year's Day to be just another day. I stayed up late the few times my parents allowed it, but figured that sleep was better than listening to, as my Dad called him, Guy Lumbago and his band playing Auld Lang Syne."
Then I joined the Army and discovered that it was true. Sleep seemed more important than booze and noise.
It wasn't until I pinned on a badge for the first time that this "holiday" began to matter. I can promise you that it wasn't due to it being "fun" (as in PARTY TIME !!).
For some reason, in the area where I worked, people couldn't just have a good time. After consuming all the Buttdumber Beer and cheap homemade hard "likker" they could hold...what we later called the "Bar Wars" would erupt.
The fight igniter could always be ultimately traced back the fire water. Some boozed up guy would grab some cutie's booty or some juiced up gal would goose some guys imagination. As sure as you're reading this, the "one that brung 'em" would witness the momentary alcohol influenced mutual attraction and the battle was joined.
Then on driving on New Years Eve...over the years, when driving drunk finally became recognized as the public danger that it was, many people changed their celebration patterns, drank less booze and even began having non-drinking designated drivers to take the New Year's revelers safely home.
This allowed cops everywhere to begin concentrating on removing the other guys...the drunk drivers from the roads.
By the time I retired, there were programs in place that had gotten the attention of potential offenders and, while not nonexistent, they were fewer and fewer drunk drivers each year.
However, you could always depend on there being at least one nut who was designated as THE idiot driver of the holiday season.
One dummy was arrested, more than a decade ago, after numerous calls about a guy standing on railroad tracks, screaming up toward the engine compartment ordering the engineer to either back the train up out of his way or dismount the train's engine and fight him like a man!
The only problem was there was no engineer on this train. It was just parked there. The drunk had actually driven off the road...onto the tracks for more than a quarter of a mile and managed to stop bumper to cow-catcher before actually colliding with the parked, engine-off, unmanned
The moral to this story is simple. If you're determined to be stupid and drinking to excess, don't drive. You could end up in some retired cops memoirs.
You might not be identified, but you'll know you were the idiot in the story."
thanks again, Hal!