State Police Sgt. Michael Baylous said local police detachments are deploying large numbers of troopers to search for impaired drivers on the highways.
Charleston Police Lt. Sean Williams said officers from his department and deputies from the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office will patrol along main roads and side streets.
Police are taking a zero tolerance approach to impaired driving and anyone caught could face fines and jail time, Williams said.
Baylous said New Year's Eve is one of the busiest nights for police.
"Many New Year's Eve parties involve alcohol and that is the main reason why we do step up our patrols," he said. "We want to create the deterrent effect."
Besides alcohol, officers are trained to detect drivers under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription pills and inhalants, Baylous said.
Impaired drivers endanger the lives of the driver and everyone around them. In 2011, there were 90 traffic fatalities involving a driver with a blood alcohol content higher than the 0.08 percent legal limit.
"We hope common sense prevails and people will be kind and courteous to other motorists on the roadway rather than being selfish and behaving in a manner that puts lives at risk," Baylous said.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.