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Getting Home Safe On NYE

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Weather forecasters expect mostly cloudy skies in Austin to begin 2012, with temperatures in the lower to mid 50s at midnight.

It's no secret: Downtown Austin on New Year's Eve is like Halloween all over again on Sixth Street. Austin public safety officials are urging New Year's Eve revelers to play it smart Saturday night.

“If you have plans to go out drinking, be safe and be mindful of the alternative methods to get home," warned Assistant Police Chief Patrick Oclketree.

APD begins its no refusal weekend tonight at 9 p.m, ending Monday at 5 a.m. That means officers can have you give up some blood, if you're caught suspected of drunk driving. To avoid the scary needles, take Oclketree's advice: find a safe ride home.

This year, the non-profit Sober Ride will not be offering its usual generous service of free rides home. But there are still plenty of options.

Capital Metro's Night Owl Service will run Saturday night starting at midnight until 3 a.m. Cap Metro got smart this year making it convenient for folks. You can catch any one of the Night Owl routes on the corner of Sixth and Congress.

Square Patrol, another non-profit, offers free rides home and they'll drive your car home too so you won't find yourself in the slammer and your car in an impound lot the next morning. You can call or text them at 512-R-U-DRUNK (512-783-7865). They send out a driver on a collapsible moped. Then that person drives you, your friends and your car home.

AAA Texas says they'll tow your car and drive you home for free, as long as they are driving you home or to a hotel and it's not more than three miles from pick-up. The service is free to non-members, too.

Finally, there's always the responsible option of designating a sober driver to safely whisk everyone away from the crowded streets of downtown Austin. But just remember, go somewhere the DD will have fun too and be nice to that person. They're saving your life.

Happy New Year!

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