Last call will be a little bit later Friday night.
But even though a long-standing state law allows most bars, taverns and restaurants to remain open until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve — an hour later than usual — state liquor officials, and State Police, are urging patrons and permittees to exercise caution as they ring in 2011.
“As we prepare for New Year’s Eve and the long holiday weekend, I want to remind everyone who may serve or drink alcohol to know the law, drink responsibly, avoid driving after drinking, and don’t serve alcohol to anyone who appears intoxicated or who is under the legal age of 21,” said Jerry Farrell, chairman of the state Liquor Control Commission and commissioner of the state Department of Consumer Protection.
Using a designated driver is also a good idea, according to state police, who will be out in force until midnight on Saturday.
During the last New Year’s holiday weekend, troopers investigated 475 crashes, two of them fatal. They also issued more than 2,000 summonses statewide for offenses that included speeding, failure to wear a seat belt, and various moving violations.
This year’s enforcement efforts will include roving patrols by both marked and unmarked cruisers, as well as sobriety checkpoints in some locations.
Even though bars and restaurants can stay open later, grocery and package stores must stop selling liquor, wine and beer at 9 p.m., as usual.
Because New Year’s Day is a holiday, grocery and package stores aren’t permitted to sell alcohol on Saturday.
Contact John Pirro at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-731