PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The clock is running out for 2013 and soon we'll be rejoicing the start of a new year. If your New Year's Eve festivities include a night out and a few alcoholic beverages, local police stress you stay off the road, catch a ride with a designated driver or call a cab.
To help prevent you from getting behind the wheel, the Walter Clark Legal Group is teaming up with American Cab to give you a free ride home from local restaurants and bars. The Home Safe Program will provide rides within Coachella Valley cities from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
"The odds of them being over .08 percent are really high if they've had a couple of drinks," said Walter Clark. "We want to bring attention to the problem and save a life or two if someone can get a free ride home."
Police plan to bulk up on officers this holiday, and hold DUI checkpoints across the desert. If you are arrested for DUI, you will lose your vehicle and could face costly charges.
"It takes the pressure off, you don't need to be dealing with a DUI or something worse," Michael McCoy, of American Cab.
Another option is the Uber app. It connects you with a nearby cab driver at the tap of a button and cash isn't necessary. Payment is handled through the app.
"Uber has not formally launched in Palm Springs," said Andrew Noyes of Uber Communications in an email. "However, there is some coverage there so people who open the app may be able to get a ride."
Last year the program provided 180 people free rides Valley-wide.
Free taxi rides with American Cab start at 10 p.m. and run until 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
"It may be inconvenient, people are sometimes embarrassed but the cost is zero contrast to spending the night in jail or fined," said Clark.
If you're going out to drink for the New Year holiday, you can call 760-300-0000 and ask for a Home Safe ride.