Sarasota Police Department warning against celebratory gunfire and impaired driving during holidays

Road closures for New Year’s Eve Pineapple Drop detailed

“The men and women of the Sarasota Police Department are working to make sure our community can enjoy a safe start to the New Year,” the agency reported this week.

“Officers are encouraging people to avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol” and to refrain from discharging weapons in the air to celebrate the arrival of 2023, a news release says.

The latter activity, the release points out, is “known as celebratory gunfire and is dangerous and illegal. “ ‘What goes up, must come down,’ ” the release stresses. “A bullet fired into the air will come down, and the unintended consequences can be tragic. It is against the law to fire a weapon in the City of Sarasota,” the release adds. “Violators can expect to be arrested.”

Noting that the annual Pineapple Drop will be held on New Year’s Eve in downtown Sarasota, at the intersection of Lemon Avenue and Main Street, the release also says the Police Department is asking that those planning to attend the celebration leave backpacks, coolers and alcohol at home.

Further, the release continues, “If part of your holiday celebrations includes consuming alcoholic beverages,” plan not to drive while impaired. “There are safer and less expensive ways of travel: Use a designated driver, take a taxi, or take advantage of the free ‘Tow to Go’ service offered through AAA.”

For Tow to Go in Sarasota, a person may call 1-855-2-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246).

The Sarasota Police Department will not tolerate “the dangerous act of drinking and driving,” the release adds.

Among other information, the release notes that several roads will be closed for the Pineapple Drop on Dec. 31. “Vehicles not removed by the posted time will be towed at the owner’s expense,” the release points out.

For information about towed vehicles, an individual may call Upman’s Towing at 941-365-7084, the release says.

The following road closures will be in place between Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, 2023 to facilitate the Pineapple Drop:

9 a.m. Dec. 29 until 9 a.m. Jan. 1, 2023

  • Pineapple Avenue from First Street to the roundabout.
  • First Street from Pineapple Avenue to Central Avenue.
  • Central Avenue from First Street to the roundabout.

4 a.m. Dec. 31 until 9 a.m. Jan. 1, 2023

  • State Street from Lemon Avenue to the public parking garage.
  • Main Street from Orange Avenue to the roundabout.
  • Lemon Avenue from First Street to Pineapple Avenue.