How to: Get home safely
After a long night of laughs, dancing and drinking on Mill Avenue, the bartender yells, “Last call!” Everyone finishes their last drink and heads out to the street to say their goodbyes. Another night in a college town, being wasted, and all they can think about now is being home.
Ladies anticipate taking off their 4-inch heels, wiping off their make-up, throwing their hair in a bun and ripping off their outfit that chafes in all the wrong places.
Gentlemen anticipate the reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” they will stay up all night watching.
Maybe guys and girls have different routines after a night out, but all can agree on one thing: a soft, delicate, inviting bed is calling their names. They can’t wait to jump in it, stretch out as far as they can and fall deep into their drunken dreams.
But before they get to their bed, they have to figure out how to get from point A, the bar, to point B, their home.
They think to themselves, “I’m fine, I’ve driven home a thousand times and have gotten there perfectly safe.” Then they start driving.
Next thing they know, red and blue lights are blaring in their rear-view mirror. They pull over with their hearts beating out of their chests. They blow into the breathalyzer, sweaty and nervous. Their BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is over the legal limit in Arizona of 0.08 percent.
They have now become one of the 23,420 people that are arrested in Arizona each year, according to the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety. From there, they will be spending the night in tent city or a jail cell.
At least they weren’t one of the 227 that died in 2012 from alcohol-impaired fatalities, according to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
All of this could have been avoided if they had decided to take a safe alternate route home.
The first offense of a DUI includes: 10 days in jail, a fine of $1,250, an alcohol education program, an ignition interlock requirement for each vehicle you drive and community service. Penalties vary upon each instance.
Here are a few ways that could save you time, thousands of dollars and could possibly save your life.
Phone A Friend
Not everyone goes out for drinks on the weekend. Ask a friend before going out if they will be available to give you a ride later and offer them a ride for next time they go out.
Get a Cab
If you are on Mill Avenue or in Old Town Scottsdale, there are multiple taxis waiting outside of the bars on any night of the week. Cost ranges from $1.50 to $2 per mile depending on which taxi you choose.
Get an Uber or Lyft
Uber and Lyft are everywhere. They will come pick you up, wherever and whenever. You can download their free smartphone applications to request a ride. Uber is $2 per mile with the standard UberX car. Lyft is $1.20 per mile.
Ride the Light Rail
Ride the Valley Metro Rail. If you live far from Mill or Old Town, this is a viable option. It is fast, cheap and gets you where you need to go. Costs are $2 per ride.
Take the Bus
There are bus stops all across the Valley. Valley Metro provides everything from a trip planner to a transit book on their website. Plan your trip before going out and figure out the route you will be taking to get home for $2 per ride.
Nothing is better than getting some fresh air after a night of being stuck in a cramped bar. If your residence is in walking distance, this would be a great option. Walk with friends to make your trip more enjoyable and safe.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @halschris.