Free transportation available this New Year's Eve

December 31, 2012 4:16:15 PM PST
A reminder to anyone headed out -- if you're planning on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver. Law enforcement will be cracking down on drunken drivers.

There are a number of ways to get home. For example, you can catch the METRO light rail and buses for free. Law enforcement is urging everyone to think about how they're getting home before they have a first drink.

Business was slow for Houston cab drivers early on this New Year's Eve.

"Every new year, you know many people drive crazy," cab driver Cishah Ayo said.

But they expect that to change long before 2012 turns into 2013.

"We hope people won't take a chance and drive and drink and call us an ask for the cabs," cab driver Doris Ben said.

The cab drivers aren't the only ones readying themselves for partygoers who've been drinking.

"We sometimes refer to it as amateur night," Houston Police Department Capt. Larry Baimbridge said.

Area law enforcement too will be on the lookout. This is a no refusal night.

"Both regular duty and the overtime stay very busy," Baimbridge said.

Over the weekend, 27 people were arrested in Montgomery County.

In Houston, police expect there will be more arrests. The best way to avoid trouble is to make a plan before you have a first drink.

"Once you've started drinking and your mental faculties are impaired, that's not the time to make a wise, reasonable decision," Baimbridge said.

METRO is offering free bus rides until 6am Tuesday and free light rail transportation until 2am.

As for the cab drivers, while they're not free, they say taking a cab tonight is a win for them -- and a win for you.

"I'll be driving tonight. I hope I make good money," cab driver Ted Leviton said. "We are saving them ... a ticket with the DWI or something like that."

HPD says that on a normal weekend night, about one in three drivers is under the influence, so they expect that on a holiday, where there's a lot of emphasis on drinking, it pays to be careful driving even if you are completely sober.