In a Townsquare Media article published by Paul Panisko yesterday, he eloquently hit the nail on the head about drinking and driving this New Year's Eve. The takeaway? DON'T DO IT! As creatures of habit, we welcome the idea of unwinding and enjoying ourselves. A desired New Year's Eve outing could be as simple as hooking up with friends for dinner and drinks or testing our partying skills at a full-fledged bash. No matter the circumstances, when alcoholic beverages are involved, it's ALWAYS TIME to have a designated driver in ADVANCE.

Having a "sober somebody" on board to drive you, family members, or friends around is crucial and could be life-changing, without even realizing it, in the long run. So make sure to execute a plan before heading out this evening. Your "designated driver" could be a cousin that "owes you one", maybe a friend who never lets you down, or even your neighbor. There are also very reliable members of your party peeps that are more than happy and proud to be the designated driver for the evening. Scope them out quickly and thank them big time in advance. Relying on a circle of friends, family, and acquaintances is so important and admirable, but in case that option wears itself out this late in the game, take a logical approach to get home safely after a night of New Year's Eve partying. Innovative options include contacting UBER, LYFT, and taxi services in the surrounding area. Uber and Lyft services are available across Montana to include Butte, Helena, Anaconda, and select parts of Whitehall and Deer Lodge. At the same time, some taxi outlets in Butte cover city limits and select counties (List is below). The minimal cost of using these services outweighs risking your life and the lives of others behind the wheel.

HITCH A RIDE HERE:  Click Uber or Lyft  *These links can be created on your PC or laptop, but are primarily designed for use on your mobile phone while "in transit". Unless, of course, you customarily bring your laptop to a bar. All joking aside, if you don't already have these apps on your phone, head to Google Play or the Apple App store to download them. It's easy to set up with a credit or debit card, Venmo, a voucher, a pre-paid card or Paypal. Plus, if you're a first time ride share customer, check online for ways to get promo code discounts on your first ride.

Taxi service contact information: Butte Cab Company (406) 498-9713; Mining City Taxi (4060 723-6511; A & B Taxi (406) 533-8230 

In this day and age, ride shares are the new norm, while taxi services are staples of the community that have been getting partygoers from point A to point B for decades. Make sure to take advantage of these safe havens for New Year's Eve because, remember, as creatures of habit, we still have a lot more we would like to do in 2023. Make it possible by being responsible. Choose a designated driver tonight and absolutely anytime necessary. Plus, be aware and helpful to those around you that might be in need of one, as well. Safe travels and Happy New Year.

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