MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No matter where you plan to spend the night ringing in the New Year, it’s important to have a safe ride home.
Safeauto.com says the number of drug and alcohol related crashes on New Year’s Eve skyrockets by more than 70 percent compared to an average night.
That’s why local law enforcement and transportation agencies want everyone to have a safe ride home.
WCCO’s Kate Raddatz found what’s free to get you home — and what may cost you more.
Before you toast the champagne at midnight, know how you’re leaving the party.
“There is no excuse to have to drive under the influence or impaired,” Minneapolis Police Public Information Officer John Elder said.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says close to 5,000 people have been arrested for DWIs on New Year’s Eves over the last 10 years.
Metro Transit is hoping to help cut down the statistics by offering free rides.
Elder says the department will have additional “TZD” squad cars out on the roads.
“It’s called toward zero deaths and it’s focusing on seat belt enforcement and driving while under the influence or impaired drivers,” Elder said.
Shakopee Police are also offering up free rides. The department launched the ride program on Halloween, giving anyone in the Shakopee area a sober ride home or $10 off a cab ride if it’s outside city limits.
“Even if you’re drinking just a little bit it’s always best to be safe and just get a ride home,” Shakopee Police Crime Prevention Specialist Liz Guggisberg said.
But if you plan to take an Uber for the holiday that could end up costing you more. The company says it expects millions to use its riding service, especially seeing a surge between midnight and 3 a.m. So Uber is recommending you share with friends to try to cut down on any price increase, and make sure you get into the right car for a safe ride.
You can take a Metro Transit bus or train for free between 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day.