Many Companies Offer Free Rides Home on New Year’s

New Year’s Eve is one of the most popular nights to go out and celebrate, but don’t plan on drinking and driving without the risk of some serious consequences. D.U.I. arrests spike this time of year and they can cost drivers thousands of dollars in legal troubles.

Wednesday, bar owner, Ben Kaufman, set up the Irish Coast Pub in downtown Gulfport for a big night. Kaufman’s been serving drinks for years and he says he’s strict about not over serving his customers. Kaufman says, “You know, with my background in the industry, 20 years on the Coast, casinos, corporate restaurants, privately owned stuff, it’s been a major training issue. Knowing when customers have had enough. Finding them a way home, feeding them, whatever it takes to get them home safe.”

Wednesday night, police are expected to be out in force looking for drivers who’ve had too much to drink and the cost of a D.U.I. arrest is expensive. There’s everything from legal fines to getting your car out of the impound lot. Donald Rafferty, a criminal defense attorney, says, “So the cost is somewhere from 0 to 10,000 dollars. The attorney’s fees alone could run anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 dollars depending on the case.”

If you do go out Wednesday night and have you have too much to drink, but you don’t have a designated driver, there are still options to get you home safely. Kaufman also says, “We use Coast DD as a sponsored location. 888-818-mydd. It’s really easy. You can call them, set it up for two in the morning, say, ‘Hey, I’m going to be at Irish Coast. Can you pick me up?’ They show up, you show them proof of insurance, they drive you home in your own car.”

Yellow Cab also offers free ride homes at participating bars. Angie Piechocki, Operations Manager for Yellow Cab, says, “When you go in, you give your keys to the bartender, put your name and address in an envelope, they seal the envelope, and when you’re ready to leave, they call Yellow Cab. You get a ride home to anywhere up to $25 and it’s covered.”

So if you’re out celebrating Wednesday night and you don’t have a designated driver, be sure to choose your ride home carefully, otherwise, the police may choose for you.

Categories: Local News, News

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