Troopers, Lyft drivers urge planning ahead for New Year's Eve party travels

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - For Toledo-area Lyft drivers there's only one way to describe New Year's Eve.

"Pandemonium," said Lyft driver Keight.

She's driven for the ride-sharing service for a little more than a year and in that time she's gotten used to the rush that comes with drinking holidays like New Year's Eve.

"It's just a lot going on in a short amount of time," said Keight. "Here, there, everywhere--47 different directions."

Despite the constant go, the Lyft driver says keeping drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel is worth every mile.

"I'm glad that it's me out there driving around getting everybody home safe," said Keight. "[They're] not sober much, but safe. That's all I care about."

Keeping impaired drivers off the road this New Year's Eve is also the goal of Ohio state troopers. Thanks to a federal grant, troopers at the Toledo post say they'll have extra crews on patrol.

"We'll have our lights going that way you're reminded when you do go out and consume a couple drinks to hopefully stay where you're at or [get] a designated driver to take you home," said Sgt. Jason Metzger.

If caught drinking and driving troopers say you could face three or more days in jail, up to $10,000 in fines and court costs, and a loss of driving privileges.

Troopers say an easy way to prevent yourself or others from driving after a night out is to simply plan ahead.

"If you're going to do something—go over somebody's house, go to a bar, liquor establishment, whatever—make plans that way you already know that you're going to get a ride home," said Metzger.

By using services like Lyft to get that ride home, drivers say you can have a good time while keeping everyone safe.

"I would much rather know...it was me that prevented an accident here or there—you know, lives lost," said Keight.

If you plan to use Uber or Lyft as a way to get home on New Year's Eve, experts say you can expect the highest demand between midnight and 3:00AM.

You may also experience higher fares during those times and it's suggested that you share your ride with other people to bring down the cost.