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Editorial: Holiday Revels With a Safety Net

A serious backup, but seriously, make a plan ahead of time.

There is a little life in the economy this year, and that is quite likely to allow some to be the life of the party.

Correction

Last week's editorial included information about upcoming community meetings on the search for a new superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. Thank you to School Board member Cathy Smith for noticing that we omitted one meeting, Dec. 5 at Chantilly High School. Here are the meeting dates and places repeated, including Chantilly:

Dec. 4—7 p.m., cafeteria, Langley High School, 6520 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101.

Dec. 5—7 p.m., cafeteria, Robinson Secondary School, 5035 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22032.

Dec. 5—7 p.m., cafeteria, Chantilly High School, 4201 Stringfellow Road, Chantilly, VA 20151.

Dec. 6—10 a.m. Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042 Room 1600.

Dec. 6—7 p.m., cafeteria, Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive, Annandale, VA 22003.

Dec. 6—7 p.m., cafeteria, Groveton Elementary School, 6900 Harrison Lane, Alexandria, VA 22306.

Dec. 7—1 p.m., Gatehouse Administration Center, 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042 Room 1600.

You know the drill, the five-to-seven or six-to-eight drop-in happy hour, you've been invited to five of them, and you could attend an infinite number of these between now and the second day of 2013. And there are many other varieties of holiday festivities, many involving more than a drink or two.

So make a plan. Plan for a designated driver. Plan to celebrate at home. Plan to spend the night. Plan to take public transportation. Plan to call a friend for a ride home. But if the best laid plans go awry, Washington Regional Alcohol program has a safety net for you.

The annual Holiday SoberRide program will operate 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 until Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 as a way to keep impaired drivers off the road during this traditionally high-risk holiday period.

Residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1-800-200-TAXI for a no-cost (up to $30 fare) safe ride home. Last holiday season, more than 2,000 people used the service.

Local taxicab companies will be providing this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.

More information at www.soberride.com.

Parents can encourage their young adult children who are over 21 to carry the number with them if they are celebrating. It's probably more important to talk to their underage revelers about moderation and contingency plans to avoid drinking and driving, or risking getting into a car with an underage driver who might have been drinking.