Little trouble on New Year's

Quiet holiday season for Routt County law enforcement officials


— Routt County residents rang in 2008 with a walk on the mild side, law enforcement officials said Monday.

Officers with the Steamboat Springs Police Department, Routt County Sheriff's Office and Colorado State Patrol said the New Year's holiday passed with only minor incidents. While law enforcement agencies made numerous drunken driving arrests, most residents and visitors behaved themselves while celebrating the turn of the calendar.

"From my perspective, it was fairly quiet and things went very well," State Patrol Sgt. Scott Elliott said. "As far as I know, I don't think there were any DUI crashes in Routt County."

Troopers arrested a Steamboat Springs woman early Tuesday morning, and an Overland Park, Kan., man Sunday, on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Officer Nick Moore of the Steamboat Springs Police Department said his department didn't make any arrests Monday night or early Tuesday morning, and he added that most party-goers were well-behaved.

"We had a couple calls after midnight," he said. "But people managed to safely get home. Only one person went to detox. There were certainly a lot of drunk people, but they were not doing things wrong enough to go to jail."

Moore attributed the tame festivities to a combination of factors, including better public education about drunken driving.

"There also seemed like a lot more families in town, and I think it seemed the busier places were downtown, not the mountain," he said. "I think people were staying put - maybe because of the cold - and were not driving back and forth to the mountain."

Sgt. Miles De Young of the Sheriff's Office echoed Moore's sentiment that Routt County residents mostly kept their revelry in check.

"It was definitely kind of slow," he said. "We had three DUI arrests Monday night, a warrant arrest and an arrest in Yampa, but it was a pretty standard weekend from what the guys tell me. It wasn't out of control or anything."

Police Capt. Joel Rae said last week that December typically is one of his department's busiest months. But a tame New Year's, coupled with a quiet Christmas holiday, provided a collective sense of relief, Moore, Elliott and De Young said.

"In general, the last three days of December, compared to last year, were relatively calm," Moore said.

"It's been calm, knock on wood," De Young said. "I'm just glad I didn't get an emergency call in the middle of New Year's night."


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