Plan Ahead to Avoid Deadly Mix of Drinking, Driving


Keeping Bay Area roadways safe for all this New Year’s Eve is as easy as planning ahead to avoid mixing drinking and driving, and local MADD-Logo-Don't-Drink-And-Drive-Plan-Ahead-to-Avoid-Deadly-Mix-of-Drinking-Drivingorganizations are offering tips and services to help.

MADD Safe Party Guide

A one-page online guide from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) offers lots of great tips for planning a party that keeps guests from leaving your party under the influence. Helps hosts through the pre-planning process, as well as what to do during, and at the end of parties.

Designated Drivers

If you’re going out to a party with a group, designate one member as the one who will not drink any alcohol for the evening, and drive the rest of the group home safely at the end of the night. Click on the link above for MADD’s info on designated drivers, as well as downloadable coupons to present as gifts to friends when you’re willing to serve as the designated driver.

AAA Tipsy Tow

This AAA program in California, Nevada, and Utah, offers free 10-mile tows to anyone who asks on New Year’s Eve.Participants do not have to be members of AAA to use the service. It will be offered from 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31, until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1. Call 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP); tell the AAA operator, “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a truck will be sent to your location. Additional passengers are allowed only if they can be safely transported in the tow operator’s vehicle to the driver’s home.

Why not take a moment now to take the AAA Pledge to never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol?

Caltrain and VTA Free Service/Other Public Transportation

Both Caltrain and the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) are offering free rides on New Year’s Eve. Caltrain has free trains starting at 11 p.m., with extended service until 2:15 a.m. The VTA is offering free rides on all light rail and buses from 7 p.m. until 3:59 a.m., Jan. 1.

BART and most public transit agencies in the Bay Area are offering extended service on New Year’s. To find out the public transportation in your area, call 211, or see the 211 Bay Area website.

Report a Drunk Driver

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has enhanced enforcement patrols out on the roadways through Tuesday night. The agency is encouraging the public to be its eyes and report any suspected impaired drivers. Call 911, and be prepared to give a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, the location, and the vehicle’s direction of travel.

Tips for Spotting a Drunk Driver

MADD offers these tips for spotting a drunk driver:

  1. Quick acceleration or deceleration
  2. Tailgating
  3. Weaving or zig-zagging across the road
  4. Driving anywhere other than on a road designated for vehicles
  5. Almost striking an object, curb, or vehicle
  6. Stopping without cause or erratic braking
  7. Drifting in and out of traffic lanes
  8. Signaling that is inconsistent with driving actions
  9. Slow response to traffic signals (e.g. sudden stop or delayed start)
  10. Straddling the center lane marker
  11. Driving with headlights off at night
  12. Swerving
  13. Driving slower than 10 mph below the speed limit
  14. Turning abruptly or illegally
  15. Driving into opposing traffic on the wrong side of the road