Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

December 30, 2013

Free rides available to New Year’s revelers

TAHLEQUAH — Area authorities are once again offering a free ride home to those who celebrate with alcohol on New Year’s Eve.

As is always the case, officers say their offer only extends to those who call for a ride before they get behind the wheel of a car and drive drunk. Those who choose to ignore the offer and instead choose to drink and drive will be given a free ride to jail.

Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said deputies will provide county residents with a ride home if they call dispatchers between 10 p.m. Dec. 31 and about 3 a.m. Jan. 1.

Chennault said deputies will take intoxicated residents to their homes within Cherokee County – not to another celebration, home or bar.

“Be responsible,” said Chennault. “You can still have fun and not break the law.”

Those who drink alcohol and need a ride home in the county can call (918) 456-2583.

Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King said his officers are also willing to give those who call a ride home within city limits on New Year’s Eve or early New Year’s day.

“If you need a free ride home, you may have to wait if we have other pressing calls, but we’re going to help those who call us instead of choosing to drink and drive,” said King.

Those who need a ride from TPD officers should call dispatchers at (918) 456-8801.

King and Chennault said their officers will all be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers.

At this point, neither department is planning to set up safety checkpoints over the holiday, but Chennault and King said their officers could assist the Oklahoma Highway Patrol if troopers decide to have a checkpoint.

AAA Oklahoma will also offer its annual Tipsy Tow program, which allows for up to two people per call to catch a free ride home from now until 4 a.m. Jan. 2 around the Tahlequah area. The intoxicated person’s vehicle can also be towed home.

“Over Christmas and New Year’s, up to 40 percent of all traffic crashes involve alcohol,” AAA Oklahoma spokesman Chuck Mai said in a press release.

Mai said more than 200 calls were made during last year’s holiday season, and AAA officials hope more people take advantage this year.

Tipsy Tow is free to AAA members and non-members, and is limited to within a 15-mile radius from the point of pickup  Call (800) 222-4357 and ask for a Tipsy Tow home.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers will be out over the holiday watching for drunk drivers.

Some areas of the state will also see a “large scale joint prevention/  enforcement operation” involving troopers and members of the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement, according to information from the OHP. Troopers are set to hold a press conference on Dec. 30 to announce their holiday enforcement plans.

Where ever local residents end up on New Year’s Eve, authorities say there’s no reason to put lives in danger by drinking and driving.

“If you’re going to drink, drink responsibly,” said King. “Don’t make a poor decision that could affect the rest of your life or someone else’s life.”


Text Only
Local News
  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-TonsOffTahl-A.jpg Tribes, city, NSU launch Tons Off Tahlequah campaign

    When studies are conducted about whether Americans are living healthy lifestyles, Oklahoma often ranks poorly among the states.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-Trail-show-1.jpg Jackson takes prize

    Cherokee Heritage Center Museum Curator Mickel Yantz kicked off his 10th anniversary at the venue with the opening of the 43rd annual Trail of Tears Art Show this past Friday.
    “The Trail of Tears show was my first exhibit opening when I arrived 10 years ago,” said Yantz. “Since that time, the show has changed so dramatically; we’ve added so many new artists, and the art work has excelled over time. It’s like Christmas for me.”
    Yantz said he was exceptionally pleased with the opening reception.
    “We had a fantastic turnout,” said Yantz. “We had a lot of fun and sold some artwork, which is great for opening night.”
    The exhibit is on display at the Cherokee Heritage Center through May 26. This year’s show features 130 pieces of art spanning eight different categories, including basketry, graphics, jewelry, miniature, painting, pottery and sculpture.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • churchguy.jpg Some NSU students find Church of Monett offensive

    They turn heads every time they show up on campus, and some students at Northeastern State University are offended by their presence.
    The Church of Monett, Mo., has made periodic trips to Tahlequah to stage quiet demonstrations in public campus spaces in recent years. They carry signs that read, “Wives, Obey your Husbands,”; “To be Married to the divorced is Adultery”; and “Don’t be deceived: fornicators homosexuals idolaters adulterers thieves drunkards - shall not inherit God’s Kingdom.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teen sent to hospital after being struck by tractor-trailer

    An 18-year-old Tahlequah man was struck by a tractor-trailer early Tuesday morning on the State Highway 51 bypass near Mimosa Lane.
    Tahlequah Police Capt. Tom Jones said officers responded to the scene at about 5:40 a.m., when Sage Sohns was found injured and lying in the road. A medical helicopter responded to the scene to transport Sohns to a Tulsa hospital, where he was being treated for a closed-head injury, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • TPS board hears architect presentations for cafeteria

    Members of the Tahlequah Public Schools Board of Education heard from four architectural firms seeking a contract for construction at Cherokee Elementary School.
    TPS plans to build a cafeteria-auditorium and a music room with a stage, which may also serve as a safe room during storms.

    April 16, 2014


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing