New Year’s Eve rides anyone?

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So tonight you, your sweetie and your friends will be out to party like rock stars on New Year’s Eve. The party location is picked out; maybe it’s a downtown hotel or nightclub, maybe over in Hollywood or one of the Beverly Hills hotels. It’s all set and you are going to have a great time and if you’re not too drunk, get lucky after midnight.

On top of that, you have your party dress — or tuxedo —cleaned and pressed. You have New Year’s Eve headgear all picked out as well. Bunny is going with the bunny ears (duh) that say “HAPPY” in the left ear and “NEW YEAR” in the right. Ted picked out a crown — of course he would — and Lester, he’s too cool for party headwear. He’s bringing Cuban cigars. Dude, this is Southern California. You can’t smoke indoors anywhere and the temperature tonight is going to be hovering right around freezing by midnight. You’re going to stand outside, 50 feet from the door, and smoke your cigar for 20 minutes — by yourself — while all your friends are up in the ballroom dancing and kissing and who knows what else if the corners are dark enough? Oh well Lester, there’s always one in the bunch.

Oops. You don’t want to see these in your rearview mirror.
Oops. You don’t want to see these in your rearview mirror.

But what about your ride? Will there be a designated driver? Maybe you’ve all reserved a limo for the night. Premium rates, but what the hell, New Year’s Eve only comes around once a year.

But just maybe you haven’t though of that yet. It happens.

Maybe you invite your cousin Bob. He’s in A.A. and doesn’t drink so he could be the designated driver, drinking Martinelli’s Sparkling champagne substitute at midnight. Of course you would have to pay his way into the party.

But let’s say none of that is possible. Then what? The main thing you don’t want to do is drink and drive. At the very least you could spend New Year’s Day in the drunk tank. And it could be worse.

Believe it or not New Year’s Eve isn’t the day/night with the highest number of drunk-driving-related deaths. It’s number two behind Thanksgiving. Still, you or someone else could end up dead before the night is over due to a drunken motorist. A person is killed every half hour in this country, due to drunk driving. That’s 17,520 deaths annually. Statistically, tonight over 50 people will not live to see the sunrise, due to intoxicated drivers. On New Year’s Day 2013 there were 70 drunk driving fatalities.

Well, your can get free or inexpensive rides throughout Southern California on New Years Eve, as well as cab service.

The L.A. Metro is providing free rides on all its bus and rail lines from 9 p.m. tonight until 2:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. Stations with locked gates will be open. Regular fares go into effect after 2:30a.m. Thursday morning.

The San Diego Transit Service is providing its free, “Night Owl” service on these bus routes:
Route 11
Route 901
Blue Line
Orange Line
Green Line

Additionally, all bus routes and trolley rides will be free of charge until the following morning. It begins at 6 p.m. tonight and then throughout the night until Thursday morning. It’s sponsored by Sycuan Casino and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

In Orange County you can get on the OCTA — the Orange County Transit Authority — for free rides. Beginning at 6 p.m. tonight until 2:30 a.m. Thursday morning partygoers can get on any transit bus for free. They suggest visiting their WEBSITE for schedule information.

The Riverside Transit Authority isn’t changing its schedules, but there will be free rides on all bus routes after 2:30 p.m. today, going through Thursday morning.

Palos Verdes Transit will offer free transportation from 6 p.m. tonight until 2 a.m. Thursday Morning. You need to make reservations and it’s only for residents of Palos Verdes. Call 310-544-3710.

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Nationally, you can call the American Automobile AssociationAAA — for their “Tipsy Tow” service. You can get a free ride and tow, up to seven miles from your party palace. Call Tipsy Tow at 800-400-4222.

You could always rely on your bicycle for travel tonight — but you can still get ticketed for riding while drunk. (Tim Forkes)
You could always rely on your bicycle for travel tonight — but you can still get ticketed for riding while drunk.
(Tim Forkes)

Additionally they suggest the following for ensuring the guests at your house party get home safely:

  • Ensure all guests have a ride to and from their destination in a car driven by a non-drinking designated driver.
  • Plan activities that take the focus away from drinking, and make non-alcoholic beverages readily available.
  • Serve high-protein snacks to slow down alcohol absorption
  • Stop serving alcohol at least 90 minutes before a party ends, and serve guests coffee or dessert.
  • Take car keys from intoxicated guests who plan to drive home.

Then there are Uber, Flyte, and taxicabs, if you don’t mind paying for rides.

Have a safe and exciting night and from everyone at the Los Angeles Post-Examiner: HAPPY NEW YEAR!