Celebrating the New Year safely in downtown Albuquerque
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Plenty of bars are open for the crowds celebrating New Year’s Eve in downtown Albuquerque.
On nights like New Year’s Eve, one business owner takes a different approach than other bars and clubs in town.
“We have a three drink limit, we don’t do shots here, we don’t do doubles. And it’s because I want people to just come enjoy a little drink and then go home and be safe,” said Frank Holloway, distiller & owner of Hollow Spirits.
He says safety comes first on every big drinking holiday.
“We don’t want to go out and get people wasted, and we kind of don’t want our staff or anybody to be out when people are wasted,” said Holloway.
Law enforcement vows to be there to stop the people who do drink and drive.
“I can assure you that New Mexico State Police will have a uniformed presence in the Albuquerque metropolitan area,” said New Mexico State Police Officer Nick Chavez.
NMSP has been doing saturation patrols and DWI checkpoints in the metro, and that will continue into the New Year.
“Everywhere is a priority. No matter where our citizens are, we want to make sure everybody’s safe no matter whose downtown, Nob Hill, on the northeast Heights, or the West Side. We want to make sure everybody’s safe, so we’ll be everywhere,” said Chavez.
Chavez has one overarching piece of advice: be responsible.
“If you feel intoxicated, or you are intoxicated, get an Uber, get a designated driver. It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter what you do in New Mexico, city police will be out here as well as every law enforcement agency, and, you know, ‘You drink. You drive. You lose.’ You will be arrested,” Chavez said.
NMSP and the Albuquerque Police Department share the same concerns about another issue – gunshots to ring in 2024.
“It’s just a recipe for disaster, if someone innocent just gets struck by the bullet. No intention, but there’s no reason to be shooting off a gun indiscriminately like that up into the air, it’s gonna land somewhere,” said APD Public Information Officer Gilbert Gallegos on Saturday.
APD reps say having a gun in a liquor establishment is a felony, and officers will be looking to enforce it in downtown Albuquerque especially.
“They’ll be monitoring everything, but their focus will be looking for anyone shooting off guns, and especially downtown, we want to tackle those crimes especially,” said Gallegos.
Something Holloway hopes rings true inside and outside his bar.
“I’m in the liquor industry, of course I want to have fun, but just be responsible when it comes down to it,” said Holloway.
If you’re still planning to head out for New Year’s Eve and choose to take an Uber, Bernalillo County is still running its “Take a Ride on Us” promotion. The code ABQNYE23 gets you $10 off two rides and is good until 2 a.m.