Regulations set for New Year’s Eve at Lake |

Regulations set for New Year’s Eve at Lake

Staff Reports

New Year’s Eve celebrants at the Lake Tahoe casino core can expect law enforcement officers in full force from Douglas County, the Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City, South Lake Tahoe and other California agencies.

“Each year, upwards of 65,000 celebrants ring in the New Year in the casino core area of Stateline,” said DCSO Sgt. Tom Mezzetta. “For the safety of the celebrants, Highway 50 may be closed this year to all vehicle traffic.”

Mezzetta said if necessary, traffic will be detoured around the casino core using upper and lower Lake Parkway. Drivers should allow an additional 30 minutes that night.

Officers adopt a nonconfrontational attitude toward New Year’s Eve celebrants at the direction of Sheriff Ron Pierini, Mezzetta said.

“The celebrants appreciate law enforcement’s balance of protecting life and property while at the same time allowing the celebrants to bring in the New Year,” Mezzetta said.

Some behaviors are not tolerated, including vandalism, theft, drug use, rowdy behavior or fighting, throwing objects, possession or setting off fireworks, drunkenness, and minors consuming or possessing alcohol, Mezzetta said.

Open containers of alcohol are prohibited within the casino core.

Glass or metal containers are prohibited regardless of content and will be confiscated. Casinos serve drinks in plastic containers beginning in the early hours of Dec. 31.

“Parents need to be mindful of their children’s location and activities, especially during New Year’s,” Mezzetta said. “Each year a large percentage of the arrests and law enforcement contacts made during New Year’s Eve are under 21.”

He said curfew in Douglas County is midnight on Friday night, New Year’s Eve for those under 18.

Curfew violators and persons under 21 with alcohol or under the influence are subject to arrest.

Last year, 67 people were arrested for violations of disorderly conduct, battery, fireworks, destruction of property and trespassing. In 2002-03, 86 arrests were made for similar violations.