Thursday, December 27, 2001
Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing has an alternative for anyone who plans to try to drive after drinking on New Year's Eve.
The person should rent a helicopter, fly to an expensive restaurant for dinner and then stay at a really nice hotel. That probably would be less expensive than paying fines and court fees after being arrested for drinking and driving, he said.
"Everybody knows that drinking and driving is stupid," Fiebing said.
It is even more stupid to do it on New Year's Eve, when nearly everyone who wears a law enforcement badge will be patrolling the streets, he said.
"If you want to get arrested for (driving under the influence), this is the night to do it," Fiebing said.
Last year, eight people were arrested on DUI charges on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Fiebing said he hopes to see a New Year's holiday pass with no DUI arrests and points at some of the options people have.
First, there is the free bus system offered in Steamboat. And of course, there are also taxis available.
On New Year's Eve, busses will run on the normal winter schedule. That means the last bus leaves the bus barn, near Dream Island, at 1:24 a.m. to make its last pick ups. The last bus going from the ski area to downtown leaves at
Steamboat Springs Trans-
portation Director George Krawzoff said extra buses will be used Monday night. The bus has been widely used during past New Year's Eves.
The taxi also is sometimes widely used.
"We've done this for a number of years," Krawzoff said. "There are always people who get in over their heads."
Alpine Taxi will have 20 to 25 drivers working New Year's Eve as compared to a normal crew of five to six. The cab's phone staff will be stacked too.
"It's our absolute craziest night of the year," said Mark Walker, operations manager for Alpine Taxi. "Even if we had 80 people (on) we would be slammed."
Walker said many of the drivers don't mind working that night. It's fun, the tips are good and the people are usually nice.
It costs $2 a mile and $1 a person for a taxi ride home. Anyone who calls on New Year's Eve needs to be patient, Walker said. It could be 20 minutes to a half hour until the ride gets there. People should be in a place where they can see the cab.
"It's better than getting a DUI," he said.