Tipsy revelers have safe way home

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New Year's Eve celebrations and alcohol consumption go hand in hand, which is why those who attend parties or hit the local hot spots should not plan on driving.

Having a designated driver is a good idea, but sometimes those plans don't always work out. There is a solution.

Residents in Aiken and the Augusta area have options to make it home safe.

For the drivers at Carolina Cab in Aiken, this will be their second New Year's shuttling inebriated party-goers.

"We were pretty busy," remembered Steve Ryan, of Carolina Cab. "I personally was out until 3 in the morning, and the other two guys were out until 6 in the morning."

Once again, Mr. Ryan will spend New Year's Eve making sure people have a safe evening.

Carolina Cab allows individuals to make reservations for a ride home.

"We try to get people to set up time calls," he said. "If they know they are going to one destination, we take them and pick them up later in the evening when they are done."

The South Carolina Highway Patrol will be using additional personnel to patrol the roads Monday night.

"Motorists can expect to see more public safety checkpoints and more patrols, including state and local officers," Sid Gaulden, of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.

In Augusta, residents have a new option available to them called Tipsy Tow, which was set up by the CSRA Towing Alliance, a group of 10 towing companies.

The alliance is volunteering their towing services in an effort to keep drunk drivers off the road. They not only give intoxicated individuals a ride home, but they also tow the person's vehicle to their home within 10 miles of the pickup point, free of charge.

It's their gift to the community, said Vincent McClain, the owner of Vern's Towing Service.

"This is just our way of saying let us try to get you and your car home safely," he said.

The program has been running since Dec. 19 and will continue through Tuesday. Services are rotated among the 10 companies.

"If you've been drinking, call and one of the companies will come out and pick you up and your car," Mr. McClain said, who quickly clarifies, "We're not taking you to another party or another bar. We'll only take you home up to 10 miles no charge."

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com.

CALL A CAB

Carolina Cab:

(803) 648-4545


Aiken's Taxi Service:

(803) 642-9910


Aiken Limousine:

(803) 648-9977


Tipsy Tow:

(706) 855-2336


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