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      State Police stepping up patrols as people celebrate new year

      If drinking will be part of your new year celebrations, Michigan State Police are asking you to think twice about getting behind the wheel.

      â??Stop and go signs or stop lights; folks like to disregard those when they're intoxicated. They'll travel at speeds greater or less than the posted speed limit. They may be traveling in the wrong lane,â?? said Michigan State Police Sergeant Scott Bates.

      Michigan State Troopers will be on the lookout for drunk drivers this holiday, and say their extra road patrols have been making a difference.

      â??I personally have seen the numbers come down as far as OWI arrests during the New Years Eve holidays. I think most folks do take in consideration that we're going to be out there in full force 24 hours a day, which we normally are but there are going to be more of us out there.â??

      For those who choose to disregard the law, they can expect to ring in 2014 behind bars.

      â??If they are operating a motor vehicle intoxicated... that includes a snowmobile or ATV or any other automobile they will be arrested and placed in the county jail for the evening.â??

      Northern Michigan's bitterly cold temperatures can quickly change a fun evening into a potentially dangerous situation.

      â??Highly recommend that folks don't walk especially if they've been drinking or intoxicated.â??

      Michigan State Police are hoping those celebrating the new year will plan ahead, and get home safely.

      â??Bottom line is there are very many alternatives out there. Whether it be friends that are having gatherings collecting the keys and spending the night or having a designated driver.â??