Tips to avoid DUIs during New Year’s celebrations

pramati@macon.comDecember 30, 2013 

  • Celebrating the New Year’s holiday safely

    People who need a lift New Year’s Eve may call the American Automobile Association’s “Tow to Go” number at 800-222-4357 or 855-286-9246. The service is free and available to everyone, including non-AAA members, from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

    In addition, there’s a free phone app available called “Drive Sober, Georgia” which lists the phone numbers for taxi services across the state.

There are a lot of different options for Middle Georgians who want to imbibe on New Year’s Eve without worrying about getting a DUI.

Lt. Sean DeFoe of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office offered several tips for those hosting New Year’s Eve festivities, including:

• Plan ahead of time by naming a designated driver;

• Contact a local cab company to provide rides for guests;

• Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option for your guests, and stop serving alcoholic beverages several hours before the party ends;

• Provide guests with a place to stay overnight.

For those attending New Year’s Eve events, DeFoe said people should plan ahead and designate a sober driver for the evening, or call a cab or a friend to pick up someone who is impaired. He also said people should take the keys from someone if they think the person is too impaired to drive.

The American Automobile Association is continuing its “Tow to Go” program for anyone who needs a lift from 6 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday. People using the service don’t have to belong to AAA. A wrecker will take the impaired individual and vehicle home.

Revelers also can download an app for their phones called “Drive Sober, Georgia.” The App lists several taxi companies and their phone numbers throughout the state.

For Middle Georgians attending the Cherry Blossom Ball Drop event at Cherry Street Plaza on Tuesday night, eight off-duty police officers will be on hand to help with security, said Sean Pritchard, spokesman for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

He said the beverage vendor is licensed and will be handling all ID verification at the event. In addition, he said all downtown bars that are open Tuesday night have lists of available cab services.

According to information from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, there were 694 crashes across the state during the last New Year’s holiday period that covered 102 hours. There were four fatalities and 353 injuries. An official with the department said state troopers made 352 arrests for DUI during the period.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service