Apart from noisemakers, uncomfortable hats, and even more uncomfortable smooches, few things epitomize New Year’s celebrations more than alcohol. So, it’s no surprise that drunk driving is one of this holiday’s major concerns.

According to madd.org, New Year’s Day is the single most dangerous time for drunk driving throughout the year. In fact, drinking and driving has been involved in over 40 percent of traffic fatalities on recent New Year’s Eves.

Luckily, we have 4 easy ways to snag a sober ride on New Year’s Eve. Oh, and since we know that $100 bar cover charge left your pockets with nothing but stray confetti, they’re all absolutely free!

How to hail your free sober ride on New Year’s

1. Check public transportation

To help promote a safe New Year’s, several major cities — Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, to name a few — are offering locals a sober ride on buses and rail lines at no cost. This deal will typically run from early New Year’s Eve through the wee hours of New Year’s morning. Even if you don’t live in these cities, it never hurts to check out your town’s public transportation options.

2. Use a sober ride service

Depending on where you live, there may be a free service in your area. Residents in Washington, DC, for instance, can call SoberRide®, a taxi program offering free lifts up to a $30 fare. Law firms in Richmond and San Francisco are funding similar programs.

3. Check with your local police department

Ordinarily, the police aren’t exactly who you’re dying to see during a fun night out, but this is different. For almost 30 years, volunteer officers from the Nashville and Davidson County Sherriff’s Department have helped Tennesseans get a sober ride on New Year’s Eve. And similar police aid has been given in places such as Palm Beach, FL, and Fox Lake, IL, in past years. No matter where you live, it pays to check with your local law enforcement to see if a free, safe ride could be waiting.

(And no, they won’t let you test out the siren. Don’t ask.)

4. Call the designated driver

If you don’t have a sober ride through one of the above methods, you can always rely on this classic solution. Ideally, you’d assign a designated driver ahead of time, but calling someone out of the blue at the end of the night (be it Grandma, your neighbor, your dog groomer, anyone) is better than getting behind the wheel yourself when inebriated.

Find your sober ride and welcome 2014 responsibly

As the clock winds toward midnight this New Year’s, hopefully these free sober ride ideas can keep you from dropping the ball on your safety.

And remember, even if you don’t have a free way home, shelling out for that cab or subway fare will be more than worth it.

Know any other ways to get a free sober ride on New Year’s Eve? Share them below!

Related links

Discover how sticking to New Year’s resolutions helps you save on insurance.
Find out why driving hungover can be as bad as driving drunk.
Want more advice on a responsible holiday season? Check out these green home tips for winter.

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about Alex

As copywriter for Esurance, Alex had professional experience in everything from film to literature to (thanklessly!) correcting the grammar in friends' emails. As a fervent Minnesota sports fan, he spends most of his non-writing time gently weeping into cereal bowls.