Peace, harmony, and lifelong learning are Liz's passions. She's outspoken on education and childhood and is an activist in local politics.
'Tis the Season to Party Hearty!
The winter holidays are among the most popular celebrations and excuses for parties. Many of these shindigs involve imbibing a fair amount of alcoholic beverages—oftentimes, far too many.
We hear over and over again the usual cautions, yet for some, the warnings fall on the deaf ears of those afflicted with 'selective hearing.' They always think the cautions apply to 'the other guy,' and not to themselves.
Sadly, many learn the hard way that is not the case, and pay the final price. Even worse, many of these people take out innocents who also happen to be on the road, or even those who may be riding in the car with them! Please, folks: don't ride with anyone who has been drinking!
Below follows a listing of all the options I can think of that are available to let you party to your heart's content and still get home safely to your loved ones.
1. Call a Taxicab
You can either call a cab at the start of the evening, and another to go home, or you can leave your car locked up where you parked, and call a cab to get home. All you have to do is make arrangements to pick up your car the following day.
Be aware that there may be a wait for taxis on these days, as thousands of other folks are doing the exact same thing.
Note: Some taxi companies offer free rides for drunks on holidays as well. Call the cab company you want to use, and inquire.
2. Take a Limousine
While this is a pricey, luxury option, what the heck! It's only once or twice a year, right? If you're partying with a group of friends, you can split the cost between you.
Travel will be more comfortable, and the limo driver will pick you up again at an agreed-upon time, or simply wait for your party to be over, depending upon whether you have arranged for just a few hours or rented for the entire evening. Renting for the evening is probably the best option if your plan includes bar-hopping.
Limos usually have room for more people than a taxi, and your group can start enjoying the evening together, instead of waiting for everyone to show up at different times, as would happen if everyone drove their own cars.
3. Find a Designated Driver
This is yet another option. Not that you are asking someone to forego the festivities, but rather, ask for a volunteer. This might be a person who does not care for liquor and drinking, and simply likes to go out with friends.
Many bars and party venues offer no-charge soft drinks all evening for designated drivers.
4. Look Into Ride Services (e.g. Lyft and Uber)
Relatively new to the scene are the private ride services. Unlike a taxi, for which you have to call and wait, the ride services will route the nearest available driver to your location, and wait time is minimal. Reservations are also available. It's all arranged through an app on your smart phone.
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Other benefits to the ride services include door-to-door service, like a taxi, but with cheaper rates. You can have a private ride, or you can share the ride with others going the same direction, and split the cost.
5. Subscribe to an Auto Club (AAA)
Some of the membership auto-clubs, such as AAA, will offer a free ride home and tow your car home as well if you've partied a bit too much. Some will provide the service even to non-members for free.
Tipsy Tow offered by AAA: From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on New Year's Eve/Day they will take your drunk self and your car home for FREE (You don't even have to be an AAA member!).
Save this number: 1-800-222-4357
6. Get a Ride With the Police
Most folks don't relish an encounter with the boys in blue. However, during this time of year, many police departments will give you a free ride home if you are too drunk to drive.
They are only too happy to provide this service, as it helps to prevent accidents, and the bonus is, you stay out of jail and don't get a ticket, or have your car impounded—all very expensive complications.
The trick to this one is to call and get the ride before you even think of getting into your car, so you don't get to ride in the paddy wagon instead! Call your local police department a day or two prior to your party and find out if they offer this service. Many do, but only on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
Please Be Courteous to Your Ride Drivers
If you know that you usually get truly wasted when partying, then it would be common courtesy to pre-pack a small plastic trash bag in your pocket or purse.
If you get sick from your indulgences, it's really nasty to barf all over whichever vehicle you've chosen for your transport. It's even worse if you 'share' that accident with others in your party.
Even worse than a puke is a group puke! Many people have a weak stomach for this sort of thing, and seeing or smelling it is enough to cause them to respond in kind. This effect is magnified several-fold in those who have been drinking heavily.
Why Do People Drunk Drive?
It is truly a shame, as there as so very many alternatives. What is it? Pride? Shame? Do they think they are less impaired? Or do they know they are impaired, but still believe they can drive just as well as at any other time?
Or maybe instead, they are embarrassed to admit they've had too much to drink, and risk driving anyway so "no one will know" that they got drunk. They'll think they'll just quietly slip in the back door, and no one will be the wiser.
Unfortunately, they often instead slip into a coffin.
Party on the Safe Side!
Party on, but please stay safe. Use any one or combination of these available options to get home to your loved ones . . . every time you party!
The life you save may not only be your own, but mine—or someone else's loved one. I want you all to be around for next year!
© 2016 Liz Elias