Options available for revelers on New Year's Eve


— A 16-day statewide campaign to step up DUI enforcement seems to be deterring drunken drivers in Routt County.

Nine nights into the intensive effort, neither the Routt County Sheriff's Office nor the Steamboat Springs Police Department has made a DUI arrest, according to Colorado Department of Transportation traffic safety statistics.

"That's good. Congratulations to the citizens for making good decisions," said Assistant Police Chief Art Fiebing.

"Hopefully that means people are taking advantage of the community's alternative transportation."

New Year's Eve, traditionally a long night of revelry, is still to come and Fiebing hopes locals and visitors keep making good decisions.

If not, revelers who choose to drink and drive can take advantage of what Fiebing calls "the last form of alternate transportation:" drive drunk, get arrested and take a ride in a police car followed by a night in jail.

"We want people to have a good time. We're not the morality police -- just don't drink and drive," Fiebing said. He said there will be "a whole lot of police out there working to make sure people don't."

But no one should have to look too far for a sober ride on New Year's Eve. If you don't have a designated driver or a short walk home, local bus and taxi services provide ample opportunities to avoid driving Wednesday night.

The free Steamboat Springs bus will run every 20-minutes between midnight and 2 a.m. on all routes -- that's seven extra buses for New Year's Eve. The evening's final bus departure for both the condominiums and downtown Steamboat Springs will leave the Gondola Transit Center at 2 a.m.

This has been a popular choice in the past. Last year 9,197 passengers rode Steamboat Springs' free bus on New Year's Eve -- about 2,000 to 3,000 more riders than on an average day over the holiday week, said Jonathan Flint, operations manager for Steamboat Springs Transit.

Alpine Taxi -- another safe and inexpensive alternative to a DUI -- also operates throughout the night. A taxi ride costs $2 per mile and $2 per person -- that works out to be $3.50 per person for four people taking a three-mile ride.

Alpine Taxi will have as many drivers as possible and nearly every car in its fleet in operation that night, said Mark Walker, director of operations. The company also will have extra reservations agents and extra dispatchers on staff.

"We're out there, we're accessible" Walker said.

Walker said the best way to catch a New Year's Eve cab is to call for a ride at 879-TAXI, since most cabs driving around town will already be full or en-route to a dispatched location.

"It's our biggest night of the year," Walker said. "Be patient with us."


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