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Free NYE ride services offered for tipsy drivers in Las Vegas

Updated December 30, 2018 - 1:19 pm

If your New Year’s plans include alcohol, the Nevada Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists there are several ways to get home safely and avoid costly DUI-related costs and jail time.

The Highway Patrol and other Nevada law enforcement agencies are teaming up to combat impaired drivers on Nevada roads. Law enforcement officials said to expect to see large police presence on valley roadways through Jan. 1.

This New Year’s, the Nevada Highway Patrol will have up to triple the amount of troopers on the road at a given time looking for impaired drivers.

“With the additional troopers and the new DUI Strike Team patrolling the valleys roads, you will get caught and you will go to jail,” NHP said in a statement. “Drive Sober, Buckle Up, we triple dog dare you.”

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and Uber are teaming up this holiday season to see that holiday celebrations go off without drivers getting behind the wheel intoxicated.

Forty-four percent of traffic fatalities between Christmas and New Year’s Day are caused by drunken driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

MADD warns there could be an additional spike in drunken driving deaths this year because the holidays fall at the beginning of the week.

“This means long weekends for many people, and we know that fewer working days can mean more days celebrating and potentially more drunk driving crashes nationwide,” Helen Witty, MADD president, said in a statement. “For this year especially, we want to remind people that one of the best gifts you can give, is to get home safely.”

MADD is joining Uber to promote safe rides home and help curb holiday casualties in their Reasons to Ride campaign.

Uber and MADD are encouraging drivers and riders to post their own photos and comments about getting home safely using hashtags #ReasonsToRide and #NoExcuses on their favorite social media platform. For more tips to ensure safe holidays, visit madd.org/reasonstoride.

“There is never an excuse to drink and drive,” said Kate Parker, head of trust and safety initiatives at Uber in a statement. Whether it’s a holiday or any day, there is always a bus, a train or a ride share option just moments away.”

There are multiple services offering free or discounted rides for the holidays.

— Lyft is offering $5 off of two rides per rider on New Year’s Eve. The offer is good for new and existing Lyft customers who enter the code “LASNYE10” in their Lyft apps.

The Las Vegas Coalition for Zero Fatalities increased its efforts to eliminate impaired driving by providing $200,000 in free Lyft credits on typically high volume consumption holidays throughout 2019.

Last year, Lyft dedicated $100,000 in ride credits, resulting in a 15 percent decline in DUI arrests year-over-year on New Year’s Eve, the first decrease reported in five years, the Nevada Department of Public Safety said.

Lyft dispersed an additional $10,000 to go toward the discounted New Year’s Eve for rides.

“With the 2018 success of the coalition, Lyft is able to increase contributions to provide more passengers with a reliable alternative,” said Yacob Girma, Lyft Nevada’s general manager. “Whether you are celebrating on the Strip, bar hopping, or partying at a friend’s house, we want everyone to get home safe on New Year’s Eve and other holidays throughout the year.”

Those celebrating downtown are urged to use Lyft’s designated downtown pickup/drop off area at the Lyft Art Park on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont Street.

— AAA is also again offering its Tipsy Tow program between 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Tipsy Tow provides a free ride home and vehicle tow of up to 10 miles for any driver, not just AAA members.

Motorists needing to travel beyond the 10-mile limit are charged a standard towing rate. Rides can transport only two people with each vehicle.

To use the service motorists are asked to call 1-800-222-4357 and state that they need a Tipsy Tow.

Services will not be provided to motorists requesting a tow to another drinking establishment, repair facility or any location other than their home or a hotel if the motorist is, or plans to become, a guest there, said Michael Blasky, AAA spokesperson.

Other services not covered include: requests to start a vehicle, flat tire change, gas delivery, taxi service.

— The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is also offering free rides on all fixed route buses from 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve until 9 a.m. New Year’s Day. Additionally, several routes will run extended or 24-hour service during that time.

— The Las Vegas Monorail will be the only motorized method of transportation operating along the Las Vegas Strip on New Year’s Eve.

It will operate continuously for 43 straight hours from 7 a.m. on Dec. 31 until 2 a.m. on Jan. 2.

Locals can purchase $1 single-ride tickets at customer service booths located at every station (except the Las Vegas Convention Center) from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve with a Nevada ID. For out-of-town guests, regularly priced tickets are $5 for a single ride and unlimited-ride passes are available for 24 hours or multiple days starting at $13.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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