December 31 2004, 7:00 AM
You've heard it a million times, but it's still great (and potentially life-saving) advice: don't drink and drive. Cabs may be hard to come by on New Year's Eve, but the light rail service and RTD buses are free from 7 p.m until 6 a.m. on the 1st. And just in case your planned designated driver somehow falls off the wagon, NightRiders of Denver and Boulder offers yet another safe alternative. You call their dispatch center, and they'll send a sober driver - on a handy collapsible scooter - to pick you up, pop the scooter in your trunk, and drive you home. Then the driver heads off to the next pickup. You'll get home safely, and avoid a possible DUI or horrible accident. Not to mention the parking tickets or towing fees that abandoning your car can lead to, and the convenience of having your car parked safely in your driveway when you (finally, painfully) wake up. The fees are a bit steep -- $15 for the call and $2 per mile -- but the peace of mind is worth it. And with Colorado's stricter DUI laws and the current holiday crackdown, it could end up saving you a bundle in lawyer's fees.