New Year's Eve safety a focus at bars, on the road

As many figure out how to celebrate the end of 2020 amid a pandemic, there's a focus on safety in Milwaukee County.

Law enforcement is amping up patrols Thursday night, Dec. 31 -- searching for impaired drivers.

With a new year approaching, some inside Who's On Third reflected on a year like none other Thursday.

"2020 has taught me to go with the flow," said Dalton Erdman. "I love celebrations. Me and my boys are still going to celebrate accordingly."

Alex Riske and his friends are excited to say goodbye to 2020, together.

Who's on Third in Milwaukee

"It's been chaos," Riske said. "We’re going to stay in for the ball drop. I think we’re going to go out eventually."

Ringing in a new year will look different as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.

"2020 has been kind of like a rollercoaster for everybody," said Ashley Rivas.

Oak Barrel Public House in Milwaukee

David Gawlick with Oak Barrel Public House said the bar has adapted to make sure celebrations are safe and believes other bars have done the same.

"Everyone has to stay seated. People can’t be in too large of groups," Gawlick said. "We’re going to be able to celebrate the hope of next year and we can do it all together safely tonight."

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office

Throughout the evening, law enforcement will monitor the roads. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office will be boosting patrols, pushing for a positive start to 2021.

"The goal is to minimize any impacts that an impaired driver can have on the freeway system tonight," said Capt. Charles Stowers with the sheriff's office.

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"My hope is that next year we just forget about this. That this is just a bad memory," Gawlick said.

Bars are planning for small groups to attend on New Year's Eve, but say it is hard to predict turnout.

Law enforcement said to make a safe transportation plan before getting on the roads.


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