Crime & Courts

Police: Don't drive drunk, shoot guns

Wichita police are taking to the streets to discourage drunken driving and celebratory gunfire this New Year's Eve.

The police department, along with the Historic Midtown Citizens Association, is encouraging people not to ring in the new year by firing guns.

Police began handing out fliers Wednesday reminding people of the dangers of firing bullets indiscriminately into the air.

"Depending on the angle and trajectory, it (a bullet) could come down and cause property damage or injure somebody, and that's something we just don't want to have happen," Lt. Troy Livingston said.

Last New Year's eve, police responded to 16 reports of shots fired.

The punishment for illegally discharging a firearm in the city can range from fines to jail time.

There will also be an increased police presence on Wichita roads starting about 8 tonight to discourage drunken driving. The increased presence is part of DUI saturation patrols that will continue until about 3 a.m. Friday.

Best Cabs also is working to cut down on drunken driving this New Year's through its Care Cab program. In partnership with AAA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the company is offering free rides home from any club or party in Wichita from 10 tonight until 6 a.m. Friday. To request a free ride home, call 316-838-2233.