Delaware Bars Keeping Eye Out for Intoxicated NYE Patrons - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Bars Keeping Eye Out for Intoxicated NYE Patrons

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With New Year's Eve approaching, some Delaware bar operators say their staff are on the lookout for intoxicated patrons who may have had too much to drink.

The Office of Highway Safety says Delaware finished the last holiday season ended with two people killed and two dozen injured persons in impaired-related crashes.

In an effort to cut down on drunk driving, Delaware Division of Alcohol and Tobacco agents have been conducting undercover operations in bars and restaurants this winter to monitor for intoxicated patrons being served. If an agent sees that situation occur, it could result in criminal charges for the establishment and the server.

Although the enforcement strategy primarily targets "happy hours," OHS said it began in mid-December and will run until mid-February.

Gina Kratas, co-owner of Stone's Bar and Grill, said she wouldn't mind if agents were in her bar because her staff is well-trained to look for intoxicated patrons and knows when to cut someone off.

“We care about our customers, we want them to come back we want them to have a good time and it’s just a matter of making sure everyone gets home safe," she said.

Barbara Brown, owner of Brown's Wyoming Tavern, said one issue bartenders have to deal with on New Year's Eve is patrons who have visited multiple locations.

“Bartenders have to be wary of people who come in later at night and make sure that they’re not coming in and being served when they’ve already had too much from some place else," she said.

With a variety of options like ride-sharing services like Uber, trips in Taxis, or just having a designated driver, Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow said there's no excuse for drunk driving.

“You gotta drink responsibly," he said. "You ought to have a designated driver and make the plans prior to going out to make it safe for everyone out there on the roadways.”

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