It's the holiday season and that means parties, get-togethers with friends, and the real possibility of having one too many egg nogs then getting in your car.
For many, that means drinking and driving, especially given Miami's not-so-great mass transit system. But before you get behind the wheel, you should know the serious consequences of your actions. According to Florida law, a first-time DUI conviction will get you a $250 - 500 fine; 50 hours of community service; a minimum license revocation of 180 days; 12 hours of driving school; and possible imprisonment and/or probation. That's not taking into account the very real possibility of injuring yourself or others.
Simply put -- don't drink and drive. Thankfully, there are a host of options ranging from assigning a designated driver to calling for a car service.
Before even going out, talk among your group and have a game plan. Hopefully someone will volunteer to remain completely sober and get everyone home safe (you'd be amazed how much fun it is to watch everyone around you get crunked once in a while). If you can't agree on one responsible person, take up a collection and hire a car service or car and driver in advance or hire a designated driving service, which is basically a driver on-call who will take you home in your own car. Here are a list of services operating in Miami during the holidays.
Just note that if you need a ride home, so do hundreds of other people. Try to book a driver in advance and, if you can't, be patient! Just sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee The wait is ultimately worth it to get you home safe.
AAA Tow To Go
Since 1998, AAA has provided a free tow service for you and your car during key holiday periods. Since its inception, Tow to Go has safely removed more than 23,000 intoxicated drivers from the roads. Based on availability, a AAA tow truck will come and pic you and your car up and take you both home safely, up to a 10-mile radius from pick-up. The service is available in Florida to both AAA members and non-members throughout the holiday season from December 24 through 6 a.m. on January 1. Call (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246 to request a tow.
If you can't agree on who's playing designated driver on Christmas eve, just hire one. Just contact BeMyDD at (877) U BeMyDD to hire a personal driver to take you where you need to go -- in your own car ($14 - 19.50 per hour). If you've already driven somewhere and can't drive home, a team of two drivers will be dispatched to take you and your car home safely. To make sure you get home safely, BeMyDD is taking $20 off your first ride with promo code TOTAL WINE. You can also enter to win a free designated driver for an entire year -- which comes in handy in Miami. Visit bemyDD.com for details.
Another designated driving service featuring licensed and screened drivers wearing jaunty red caps who will drive your car anywhere you want them to. The service is available throughout South Florida, and operates Sunday-Wednesday from 5 a.m. - 1 a.m.; Thursday-Saturday from 5 a.m. -2 a.m. A driver costs $35 an hour and can be reserved by downloading their app at myredcap.com.
By now, you've probably used Uber, the clean, efficient ride program. Cars are clean, the drivers are friendly and competent, and I've never waited more than five minutes (although the holidays will understandably be much busier). Rides start at $1.20 base with $.20/minute and $1.25 a mile. Larger cars have slightly higher rates.
If you haven't signed up, you can get a free ride, up to $20 value, by visiting getuber.com and using new user promo code MANSIONMIA
NDDDS The National Directory of Designated Driver Services
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Sometimes even the best plans go awry. Maybe your designated driver friend decided that holiday punch looked too good, or maybe your host broke out the "good bottle". In any event, if you're in a pinch, check out the NDDS - The National Directory of Designated Driver Services for a list of companies that will get you home safe.