Revelers can get free rides on New Year's

The Daily Courier/Les Stukenberg<p>
Garrett Gummer looks over the News Year’s noisemakers before the Arizona Sundogs match against the New Mexico Scorpions.

The Daily Courier/Les Stukenberg<p> Garrett Gummer looks over the News Year’s noisemakers before the Arizona Sundogs match against the New Mexico Scorpions.

Revelers who imbibe too much alcohol tonight can leave their car keys in their pockets and hail a free cab ride home.

Both Tri City Taxi and Prescott Dial-A-Ride are offering free ride programs as a community service.

"We want to be out there getting the drunks home and hopefully saving lives in the process," said Tabitha Routh, manager of Prescott Dial-A-Ride.

Dial-A-Ride's program is called Arrive Alive and runs from 7 p.m. until the bars close around 2 a.m. They expect to give about 250 rides on New Year's Eve alone, Routh said. Call 776-RIDE and mention Arrive Alive for the free lift home.

Tri-City Taxi's program is called Do the Ride Thing and ends at 6 a.m. New Years Day. Call them at 445-6500 and mention Do the Ride Thing.

Both businesses will provide only one ride per person and only from an establishment that serves alcohol to a person's home or hotel room if that's where they're staying.

Free rides aside, both businesses urge people to drink responsibly and not overdo it in the first place.

Area police departments support the free ride effort.

"We're in support of anything that gets people home safely," said Sgt. Tim Fletcher, traffic section supervisor for the Prescott Police Department.

He recommends people have a plan in effect - one that includes a designated driver - before they go out.

"That's because the first thing that goes when people drink is their judgment," Fletcher said.

In addition to the free rides, police want the public to know they'll be out in force today and tomorrow as part of a nationwide program to combat drunk driving.

Locally, the DUI Task Force, made up of 11 different area law enforcement agencies, will conduct saturation patrols, Fletcher said.

Typically, he said, when police do pull someone over, their average blood alcohol content is .13 which is almost double the legal Arizona limit of .08.

Contact the reporter at tshultz@prescottaz.com