The next few days will be busy with New Year’s celebrations and other holiday parties, and police are hoping those plans include a safe route home.

“Always have a plan, a plan to get home, a plan to get home safe,” urges Sgt. Evan Scott with the Rothesay Regional Police. “

It’s a simple rule that police across the Maritimes are hoping those out enjoying the holiday season will follow, especially when it comes to having drinks and getting behind the wheel.

“Any amount of alcohol will impair you to a certain degree. Not maybe classify you as being impaired, but it will alter your perception, your reaction time to a certain degree,” says Sgt. Scott. “I always say if you’re drinking at all, don’t drive. It’s the best rule of thumb.”

Sgt. Scott says since the 911 program was implemented in 2007, they’ve received several calls from concerned motorists reporting people who’ve been on the road under the influence.

He hopes during the next few days anyone who sees someone they suspect could be drinking and driving will call 911.

“We all have to take responsibility to ensure our roadways are safe and we can’t be everywhere at once, so therefore we’re depending on the eyes and ears of motorists on the road.”

Bars in Saint John have several events planned for ringing in the New Year. While the excitement will bring hundreds of people out, bar owners say it’s important for them to plan ahead.

“New Year's specifically, it is hard to get a cab,’ says bar owner Peter Stoddart.

Stoddart suggests those going out to bars plan ahead for the increased demand for cabs, or have a designated driver or hotel room booked.

This will mark the first year Operation Red Nose isn’t running in Saint John. Organizers say due to issues with insurance, it just wasn’t possible.

“A little disappointing, but understandable,” Operation Red Nose organizer Jane MacEachern tells CTV News. “We couldn’t get the coverage so we just couldn’t do it, but we’ve had some insurance companies approach us now and insurance organizations, so hopefully you never know, it might be back on the horizon for next year.”

While many of the Operation Red Nose programs have faded out in Maritime cities, both organizers and police are still hopeful people understand the dangers of getting behind the wheel while impaired.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ashley Dunbar