WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - As the New Year approaches and plans are made, make sure you have a safe ride home. State troopers and local police departments are coming down hard on drunk drivers.
"The motoring public can expect an abundance of law enforcement out there this weekend. Everyone is going to be working," said Cpl. Bob Beres with the state highway patrol.
Beres said there will be numerous check points to keep roads safe. In addition he said 40 percent of all highway fatalities were alcohol related in 2011.
"I can tell you last year alone the highway patrol arrested over 15,000 people for DUI. Just this past Christmas holiday period, we arrested 172 people for drunk driving so it is a problem," said Beres.
A problem he said can be prevented by calling for a cab. But don't count on a free ride this year. Two programs known for offering a safe way home on holidays are ending.
A beer company used to sponsor free rides home, but a spokesperson for Yellow Cab of Charleston said they haven't heard anything about it this year.
AAA of the Carolinas is also ending its free towing program. Manager Lori Jo Simmons said people abused it by partying in one city then requesting to be towed home to another.
"Then others just frankly admitted that they didn't mind over drinking because AAA was willing to give them a tow to their residence," said Simmons.