Avoiding DUI: Rides home offered for New Year's revelers - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Avoiding DUI: Rides home offered for New Year's revelers

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Designated Drivers Inc., a company which will send out two drivers to pick up you and your car, is expecting a busy night.

"We do hundreds of rides on New Year's Eve from the local casinos as well as the Strip and Fremont Street," said Billie Smith, CEO of Designated Drivers Inc.

But unfortunately, Smith is getting a lot of calls asking for a free ride, like the company offered in years past.

"No we didn't get any funding this year for the free ride program. We've tried to get the casinos to step up to the plate year after year after year, and unfortunately they don't seem to want to fund a free ride program which directly benefits their facilities," Smith said.

Instead Smith's company is charging a $100 flat rate to get would be drunk drivers and their cars to and from anywhere in the valley.

"And if you're at one of our partner facilities, like the Cannery Casinos, Rampart Casino, T-bird Lounge, Rum Runner, Steiner's, Cheetahs and Spearmint Rhino, we will pick you up and take you home for $50," Smith said.

Designated Drivers Inc. can be contacted at: (877) 456-RIDE (7433).

Meanwhile AAA's Tipsy Tow service will be free from 6 p.m. until  6 a.m. on  New Year's Eve. AAA also will tow your car for free for up to 10 miles.

The service is available by calling 1-800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP).

But that's much cheaper than the $5,000 to $10,000 a DUI arrest typically costs.

And the Nevada Highway Patrol said it will be making plenty of those arrests on New Year's Eve.

"We have over a hundred troopers out there throughout the evening and during the day as well looking for impaired drivers," Trooper Jeremie Elliott, a spokesperson for the NHP said.

But even if you're staying at the party or nearby, Elliott warns you need to allow for enough time for alcohol in your body to burn off.

"Even a good night's sleep may not burn all that alcohol that you consumed the night before. So when you wake up in the morning, you can still have alcohol in your system," Elliott said.

That's why the NHP and other agencies will be searching for drunk drivers well into the New Year.

"Buzz driving is drunk driving. Even if you have one drink, you get behind the wheel, that's too much," Elliott said.

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