The holidays are the deadliest time of year on the road. Alcohol flows, everyone has a great time, and then drivers get behind the wheel even though they're intoxicated. In 2021, 13,384 people died in crashes involving at least one impaired driver. That's 31% of all road deaths for the year, and in some states — like Montana, Texas, and Oregon — the problem is even worse.
It doesn't have to be this way. If you're out having fun over the holidays, swap your car keys for one of these sober ride services. We'll even show you how to get home for cheap or free.
Uber is one of the most popular ride-hailing services. It's been around since 2009 and is available in over 900 cities worldwide and in every U.S. state. You're bound to find a ride through the app quickly in any major city.
Lyft launched in 2012, and it's also a ride-hailing giant. It connects riders with drivers seamlessly in over 600 American and Canadian cities. Enter your location and destination on the app and wait to be picked up.
zTrip is also a ride-hailing app. The big difference is that, unlike Uber or Lyft, zTrip has its own fleet of vehicles. It's essentially bringing traditional taxi services into the 21st century. No more calling a taxi call center, just request your trip on the app.
What if you could have a private chauffeur for a day? That's what Dryver promises. Download the app and request a driver, for a fee. They'll pick you up and drive you in your own car wherever you want.
5. Tow to Go
The American Automobile Association (AAA) has a cool program called Tow to Go in 12 states. It's available on holidays to everyone, not just AAA members. Drove somewhere and now you're drunk? Call Tow to Go, and they'll drive you and your car home, free of charge. Think of it as a safety net for impaired drivers who want to do what's right.
Does your town or city have a robust public transportation network? If so, Citymapper could be the app for you. Use it to find the public transit route you need easily for free. Enter your location and destination, and the app will show you the best options — including estimated wait times.
Take Advantage of Free and Reduced-Fare Deals
One big reason is money. At first glance, it's true: sober ride services sound more expensive than driving yourself. Universities, private organizations, cities, and states understand that, which is why many offer special programs to save you money.
Get home for free (or cheap) through a ride-hailing app by entering a special coupon code.
SoberRide®, for example, offers Washington D.C. metro area residents $15 rides home through Lyft. Colorado did something similar, giving residents a $10 credit on Lyft rides with the code "DUISRUGLY" in 2022.
There may be a holiday program like this in your area, too — all you have to do is look.
Free Public Transit
Driving Home Drunk Is an Expensive Move
Drunk driving is more expensive than any sober ride service. Besides the obvious human cost (you could hurt or kill someone, including yourself), driving impaired costs a lot of money. You could lose your license, lose your job, have to pay court fees and fines, and so much more.
When you look at things that way, finding a paid ride home is worth it. And so is enrolling in an online and affordable defensive driving course. Taking classes could help you clean up your record so you never lose your driving privileges. Plus, it can lower your auto insurance monthly premiums!