New Year's Eve: Get A Safe Ride Home - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

New Year's Eve: Get A Safe Ride Home

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By: Claire Powell


People celebrating New Year's Eve should keep a few things in mind before celebrating too much.

The Des Moines Police Department always sees an increase in arrests on New Year's Eve, especially between 12-2 a.m. A majority of those are related to intoxication and the over consumption of alcohol.

"It'll be busy for us no matter how many officers we have here," said Sergeant Jason Halifax, Des Moines Police Department.

Police will respond to house parties, firework displays, disputes and the biggest issue, drunk driving.

"Those people will be weaving between the lanes, disobeying traffic signals and speed limits. A red flag is people traveling a lot slower than the posted limit," said Sgt. Halifax.

Before you leave, designate a driver for the night.

If you drove and realize you've had too much, call for a cab.

However, depending what restaurant or bar you're at, there may be another option.

"We wanted to give them an option to get them home safe. The last thing we want to happen is for someone to take off out of here that should not be driving," said John McCaughey, owner of Johnny Mac's Bar & Grill.

McCaughey has been using the Holiday Saferide Program for the past few years. The program is sponsored by 95KGGO and around 25 metro bars use it as a safe way home.  

"People do come up to us and say, "I'd like to get a safe ride." That's what we want, that's what we want them to do," said McCaughey.

"We call the cab company and it'll take them where they need to go. They show the voucher and everything else is taken care of," said E.J. Nau, manager of Rock Bottom Brewery. 

"We don't want anything bad to happen to them. That's not a good way to start off the new year!" said McCaughey.

Des Moines Police said a DUI and OWI charges can cost anywhere between $3,000-10,000, so paying a cab fee or asking a friend or family member to take you home is a much better option.

To see all of the restaurants and bars participating in the Holiday Saferide Program, visit

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