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How to Get Home Safely on New Year’s Eve

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With New Year’s Eve vastly approaching, many are planning a night of revelry — one that usually includes alcohol. But have you figured out how you’ll get home?

Drinking and driving isn’t just dangerous, it’s costly. Even if you don’t hit anything or hurt anyone, a typical DUI conviction costs about $10,000 in bail, fines, fees and insurance.

Don’t risk it. Here are some alternatives:

  • Have a designated driver

This tried-and-true method has been around for years because it works. The trick is choosing someone trustworthy who won’t give in to auld lang syne and throw back some champagne at midnight.

  • Use AAA’s Tipsy Tow program

Visit the AAA website and enter your ZIP code to see if the Tipsy Tow program is available in your area. If so, save the local number in your cell phone, and should the need arise, just tell the operator you need a “tipsy tow.” While the service varies by region, you’ll often get a free 5-15 mile one-way tow home — even if you aren’t an AAA member.

  • Call a cab

Taxis may be hard to come by on New Year’s Eve, but that’s doesn’t mean they can’t be found. Call 1-800-TAXICAB to be connected to a local taxi company, or use a free service like GoFastCab. It lets you order a cab by website, iPhone app or a simple text message, and it’s available in a variety of cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, and Phoenix.

  • Sober up before you drive

Keep in mind it takes the average person about 60 minutes to oxidize a single ounce of alcohol, so try to stop drinking at least an hour before you leave the party. Coffee won’t sober you up any faster (in fact, it could dehydrate you and make matters worse), but experts say some things might. For example, foods rich in fructose — like fruit, honey, Coca-Cola, Fig Newtons, and Pop-Tarts — may help your blood alcohol levels drop more quickly.

But above all, try not to drink too much in the first place. The goal is to have fun, get home safely, and not show up in any embarrassing YouTube videos on January 1st.

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