Let's face it: No one wants to start the new year with a DWI or (far worse) involved in a car wreck. So you might want to think carefully about your transport plans for tonight.
First off, Austin Police Department has announced that this Hogmanay they'll be running another no refusal weekend. This year the department is taking part in the Arrive Alive Central Texas/Home for the Holidays initiative, meaning that there will be more emphasis than ever on making sure drunk drivers aren't a menace to themselves or anyone else on the road (remember: cop around or not, it's never safe or sensible to drive drunk.) It's not just drunk-driving: APD will be cracking down extra-hard on speeding, tailgating, unsafe lane changing and aggressive driving. The initiative begins today, and runs through until Thursday, Jan. 2.
So if you are planning on drinking out and about tonight, Capital Metro has announced that it will be providing free services on New Year's Eve. The regular buses run until midnight (although they get pretty spartan after 10pm.) After that, the Night Owl services (starting at Sixth and Congress) will run until 3am. You can map your route and schedule at www.capmetro.org/planner.
There is a downside. Apparently Cap Metro believes that people don't have anywhere to go on New Year's Day, so on Jan. 1 they will be running Sunday service, meaning no UT Shuttles, Night Owls, E-Bus or MetroRail, and a dramatically reduced regular service.
But the buses aren't your only option. The Texas Department of Public Transportation is running www.soberrides.org, the agency's website designed to help you find safe ways home. From limo service to Tweeting for a friend to pick you up, it's pretty much the definitive list of how to get anywhere tonight.
Oh, yes, and wrap up warm. It'll be chilly, too.
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