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Things to Know Before You Go Out New Year’s Eve

Plan for a safe ride home after a night of celebrating the new year. Corpus Christi and Port Aransas police will have extra officers out on patrol throughout the evening Dec. 31 and early morning hours.

Don’t start the new year in a holding cell or with a fireworks fine. Port Aransas and Corpus Christi police departments are prepared to keep the streets safe this New Year’s Eve, both announced.

Fireworks are not legal in either city limits; in fact, just possessing fireworks is illegal. That includes on the beach. Citations in Port Aransas can run up to $500, according to the city ordinance banning fireworks. Corpus Christi fines can go up to $2,000 per package.

The only way to legally transport fireworks is to carry them in the trunk or back area of the vehicle. They must be in original packaging and unopened.

The Port Aransas Fire Department noted that, although the beach might seem like the safest place to set off fireworks, winds blowing inland make the location particularly dangerous. Dunes can easily catch fire, leading quickly to nearby homes.

Fireworks are allowed on Harbor Island but only west of the Port Aransas city limits.

Leaving fireworks detritus behind can also get revelers jailed for littering.

To report illegal fireworks in Corpus Christi, call (361) 826-2600. In Port Aransas, call (361) 749-62141. Do NOT call 911 with fireworks complaints, stressed both departments.

As for driving while intoxicated, or under the influence, consequences increase if the driver has an open container in the car or a passenger under the age of 15. Regional boundaries do not count in the instance of DUIs. State troopers and sheriff’s deputies will be out in force over the new year’s holiday, taking care of anyone driving under the influence outside of city limits.

For those planning to drink on New Year’s Eve, include plans for a safe ride home as well. For ideas, visit soberrides.org. Even a slight buzz can land a person behind bars, warned police officials. The legal limit is 0.08 blood-alcohol content, which can happen after consuming two beers in an hour, depending on the person’s size.

Along with fines and jail time, a DUI costs thousands in attorney’s fees and usually results in court-mandated community service and a suspended driver’s license. It can also result in higher insurance premiums among other penalties.

In Corpus Christi, several transportation companies are offering free rides for those who overindulge. Apollo Towing Service will give you a ride and tow your car for free on Sunday, Jan. 1, in the ZIP codes for Corpus Christi, Portland, and Robstown. Only driver and car can be transported. No passengers.

Green-N-Go Cabs and Yellow Cabs offer free taxis for anyone who should not be driving. Call (361) 299-9999 or text your name and location to that number. Rides are available from 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, to 3 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1.

Those using Lyft ride-sharing can get a $5 discount when using the promo code NYEPLAN18 in the Lyft app.

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