Safe ride options for New Year's Eve

Posted at 12:38 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 14:05:22-05

With the new year almost here, celebrations are bound to happen but some in the metro say two things don't mix well together.


Drinking and driving.


 Plans for New Year’s Eve might also need to include a safe ride home, or else you could get a free ride to jail.


While area police patrol the streets looking for drunk drivers, as law enforcement agencies across the country join the enforcement campaign, “You Drink and Drive, You Lose” – others will be doing the same.


“If you feel buzzed, that's drunk driving,” says Rose White, director of public relations for AAA Nebraska.


 During Memorial Day weekend, the state chapter launched, “Tow-to-Go” in Omaha and Lincoln.  Since then, AAA has offered during major holidays including Labor Day and  Halloween.


Members and non-members receive a complimentary ride and tow back home home, White says, which Budweiser is also a part of as the company encourages responsible drinking.


However, there are stipulations such as offering rides within a 10-mile radius from where people are picked-up.


If outside the restriction, AAA will tow your vehicle to a safe location, said Mark Grieb, regional president of AAA and The Auto Club Group, during the launch event.


But it’s the owner responsibility to retrieve it the following day, Grieb says.


The novel concept is already gaining traction, says White, which is only offered in selected states.


Then, there's the Safe Ride Home Program, an initiative created by the personal injury law firm Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf and Lathrop.


“The rules are pretty simple,” says Steve Lathrop, during an appearance on The Morning Blend.


You have to be going home – not to another bar, says the attorney.


Entering its 26th year, the program picks up the cab fare from Happy Cab drivers.


“It has to be in Douglas or Sarpy County and you need to call the dispatcher,” Lathrop says. “You can't catch a cab on the side of the road.”


Just tell the cab company’s dispatcher you want to participate in the program and Hauptman, O'Brien, Wolf and Lathrop will handle the rest, he says.


With so many options: taxis, Uber, Lyft, designated drivers or these metro programs, White says, there are no excuses to drink and drive.


If you feel buzzed, she says, that's drunk driving.


To use “Tow-to-Go,” call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.


For more information, click here.


To use the Safe Ride Program, see below:

1.      Call Happy Cab at (402) 292-2222

2.      Advise the call center that you would like the Hauptman O’Brien Safe Ride Home. If you don’t do this, your ride won’t be free.

3.      Schedule your cab ride home

4.      Get home safe

For more information, click here.