Consumer Column

Stay Safe During New Year Celebrations
BATON ROUGE, LA – As we welcome an exciting new year, Attorney General Jeff Landry encourages all Louisiana citizens to stay safe during the celebrations.

“If ever there was a night to be hyper-vigilant on the roads, it is New Year’s Eve,” said General Landry. “Now that Rudolph has gone home, no one should be driving lit.”

“From travel to fireworks, I strongly encourage everyone to plan ahead to avoid any potentially dangerous situations,” added General Landry. “Together, we can all have a safe and fun New Year’s holiday!”

General Landry offers the following tips to help avoid injury and celebrate safely:

Fireworks 
– Use fireworks only if legal in your area.
– Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
– Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight one that does not go off after it has been ignited.
– Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, houses, or flammable materials.
– Keep a hose or water bucket handy in case of fire.
– If your clothes are on fire – remember to stop, drop, and roll on the ground to smother the fire.

Alcohol
– If you plan on drinking alcohol, make a game plan ahead of time – designate a sober driver before you drink.
– Do not drink anything you did not see poured or opened. And never leave your drink unattended.
– When opening champagne bottles, always be sure to point the cork away from people.
– If intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Call a taxi, ride-sharing service, or sober friend for a ride home.
– Keep an eye on your friends and family members – do not let them drive drunk. Take their car keys.
– Immediately report drunk drivers and drunk pedestrians on the road to law enforcement.

Other
– New Year's Day is the second most active holiday for car thieves. If you leave your car overnight on New Year’s Eve, make sure it is locked and try to pick it up as early as possible the next day.
– Beware of your surroundings at all times. If possible, travel in groups.
– The holidays can be lonely and stressful for those suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. If you or a loved one need someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.