Updated: Thursday, 27 Dec 2012, 10:35 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 27 Dec 2012, 4:35 PM EST
(WTNH) -- AAA says it has a plan to help keep drunk drivers off the roads this New Years Eve.
Last New Year's Eve, State Police say they arrested 44 people for drunk driving. This year they hope people will get with the program and help keep the streets safe as we say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.
"New Year's Eve we get an influx of people coming out to have a good time and enjoy themselves. It's probably one of the bigger nights of the year," said Frank Cullimore of Anna Liffey's.
As bars get ready to ring in 2013, AAA and AmRide are joining forces to keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. They'll be offering free rides home to anyone who may have had too much to drink.
"This is an emergency transportation option. In a perfect world, everyone would have a designated driver if they choose to drink, but we all know that is not reality," said Aaron Kupec of AAA.
On New Year's Eve, you can call 1-800-AAA-help and they will send a driver to pick you up. This is the first year they're offering a professional driving services to get drivers and their cars home safely.
"So, we send a driver that, uh arrives at your location and drives you home in your car, and then we have trailing drivers that pick up our driver," said a spokesperson from AmRide.
"Everyone's out to have a good time, obviously and everyone's drinking and like partying it up and I guess a lot of people can go over the top doing that," Lizzy Stilwell of Hamden said. "I think it's a really good idea."
State Police say they hope drivers will take advantage of the program.
"It's a team effort and the team should include all the drivers that are going to partake in celebrations on New Year's Eve. Plan ahead. If you're going to consume alcohol, don't put yourself behind the wheel of a car," said Lt. Paul Vance.
Bar employees can also call the hotline if they suspect someone may have done a little too much celebrating.
"I think it's absolutely fantastic. I think there's been enough tragedy over the last year and for this policy to come in, I think it's a benefit to everybody," said Cullimore.
"As far as we're concerned, if one person takes advantage of this service, and it prevents them from getting behind the wheel while they're impaired, it served its purpose," said Kupec.
These rides are available to people in Hartford, Middlesex, Windham, Tolland, and New London Counties. State Police say they will be out in full force for the holiday. Last year they handed out more than 3000 tickets for offenses including DUI, speeding, and other violations so it's definitely best to play it safe and have a plan.
For more information, visit http://newsroom.aaa.com