[KHTS] The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is offering tips to stay safe on New Year’s Eve by using taxi services, safe rides and designated drivers.
“It’s always safest to celebrate at home,” said Todd Weber, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station operations lieutenant, “or if you choose to go out, have a designated driver.”
In 2014, nine people were arrested by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station for drunk driving between Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014, said Shirley Miller, public information officer for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“If you are going out, don’t drink and drive, have a designated driver,” said Miller. “If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party, take some responsibility, ask guests to give their keys to you and put them in a safe place.”
Miller also said those who are hosting a party should monitor guest’s alcohol intake and plan ahead to make arrangements to possibly have some people spend the night.
“We also like to remind pet owners that around the holidays, there are more lost pets,” said Miller. “Loud noise and activity can cause pets to get loose. Make sure pets are in a secure place.”
There are multiple options around the Santa Clarita Valley if one cannot drive or does not want to ride with an unsafe driver.
In an effort to keep the roads safer, AAA is offering a “tipsy tow service” from 6 p.m. on Thursday until 6 a.m. on Friday.
Residents can call 1-800-400-4222 for a free tow home for up to seven miles. Callers simply tell the Auto Club operators, “I need a tipsy tow,” to receive the free tow and ride home.
Keep in mind that the service excludes rides for passengers and is restricted to a one-way, one-time ride for the driver and the destination is limited to the driver’s residence. Reservations are not accepted.
For rides farther than seven miles, drivers can expect to pay the rate charged by the tow truck contractor.
Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides is offering a free, confidential ride home for teenagers who are not in a condition to drive, and for those who don’t want to ride with an unsafe driver, according to its website.
The free service is being offered on New Year’s Eve from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. and the number to call is (661) 259-6330.
Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita charges $20 for a ride home anywhere in the Santa Clarita Valley on New Year’s Eve.
“Due to the unpredictable nature of each call, it is not possible to set appointments,” according to a message on the line. “Be patient and we will get you home.”
The message added that the local company will not leave the Santa Clarita Valley on New Year’s Eve.
Designated Drivers of Santa Clarita will start taking calls at 6 p.m. for inquiries, and rides become available after 7 p.m.
A number of taxi services are available, including the popular social media apps and online taxi services, Uber and Lyft, as well as the Santa Clarita Taxi company.
Anyone can download the apps, which will link up to a person’s GPS and let the user know what drivers are available in their respective areas.
The Santa Clarita Taxi company is also available, said owner Rob Rasmussen, adding that the company has been operating for over 20 years in the Santa Clarita Valley.
The company does not schedule rides in advance, the service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Rasmussen said.
The rate is the standard for Los Angeles County, with the meter starting at $2.85 and charging an additional $2.70 per mile.
The number for Santa Clarita Taxi is 661-260-2227.
“Be responsible, have a plan ahead, don’t fail to plan,” said Valencia Zone Deputy Brian Heischuber. “Be prepared to prevent any future problems.”