NEWS

Neosho authorities enjoy quiet New Year's

Wes Franklin

Local authorities can’t really put a finger on why the New Year’s Eve holiday passed relatively quietly this year, while others “haven’t been so quiet” in the past.

But no one is complaining.

Neosho police arrested three persons, several hours apart, for driving under the influence of alcohol this holiday, said Chief Dave McCracken.

The first occurred at 8:05 p.m. New Year’s Eve, at the corner of Pineville and Gooch roads. A few hours later, at 11:37 p.m., officers stopped another intoxicated driver near Taco Gringo on Neosho Boulevard. The third offender was pulled over on north College Street in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

And what New Year’s Eve would be complete without the token display of public intoxication? This one happened near Wal-Mart at about 1:30 a.m. There were no arrests made, however, and the inebriated man was given a ride home, McCracken said.

“Some years we have really busy (New Year’s Eve) nights, and then other years there’s not hardly anything,” he said.

In the past, McCracken and others have tried to speculate and nail down trends as to why that is, but in the end that’s about all it amounts to — speculation, McCracken said.

Authorities do attribute the increase of fights and drunken disturbances in the summertime to the hot weather, he said, but can’t come up with a good guess as to why those same incidents seem to fluctuate year to year around the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

About 90 percent of domestic disturbances in town are alcohol-related, McCracken said. It would stand to reason that there should be more fight calls during specific holidays where people are traditionally going to drink more, such as New Year’s Eve, but that isn’t always so, McCracken said. Aside from the one minor domestic disturbance, there were none this year. Those frequenting the local bars apparently remained on good behavior as well.

Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland said there were a few DUIs around the county this holiday, but the numbers were down compared to previous years.

There were no bar fights to break up and very few domestic disturbances.

Although there weren’t any checkpoints set up this year, Copeland said he had expected the DUI arrests to be higher than they were.

He said he didn’t know why the number of alcohol-related offences goes up and down during certain annual holidays, or why they were so low this time around.

“All you can do is speculate — but we don’t look a gift horse in the mouth either!” Copeland laughed.

Neosho Daily News