VANCOUVER Police say they want everyone to have a safe and joyous New Year and officers are encouraging people to celebrate close to home. With no large-scale public events planned and a Public Health Order restricting social gatherings, anyone venturing out should be prepared for things to look a lot different this year.
Police offer the following tips to help ensure a smooth start to 2021:
* Abide by the Public Health Order and ring in the New Year with household members only. VPD encourages people to stay home, but anyone venturing out should only go with people from their household.
* Don’t go out after 10 p.m., but if you do, make sure it’s only with your immediate family or household. All bars and restaurants have been ordered to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and there will be no public events during the evening.
* Plan ahead to get home safely, as there are no extended transit hours and no free service this year.
* Remember that alcohol consumption is not allowed in public. The fine for liquor consumption is $230 and officers will be enforcing liquor laws.
* Call 3-1-1 to report violations of the COVID-19 Related Health Measures Act, including unlawful social gatherings. Remember that 9-1-1 is for emergencies only.
Here is what VPD is doing to promote a safe and happy New Year:
* Additional officers will be deployed throughout the city, including in Gastown and the Granville entertainment districts. These officers will respond to any incidents related to New Year’s Eve and will work proactively to promote public safety.
* Officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers. CounterAttack road blocks will be in effect, and drivers impaired or affected by drugs or alcohol will have their licenses suspended and vehicles impounded.
* Police officers will remind people gathering in groups that the Public Health Order is in effect, and will have discretion to issue tickets to those in violation of the health order. Liquor enforcement will take place in the entertainment districts and near transit stations.
* VPD officers will investigate reports of house parties and other unlawful social gatherings in households, and could issue $2,300 tickets to party hosts.