Get home safely on New Year's Eve

Posted at 7:12 PM, Dec 31, 2020

GREAT FALLS — Limited capacity and a 10 p.m. closing time won't be the only differences this year for bars in Cascade County on New Year's Eve.

"We thought we would just tell the bars to go ahead and line up the professional services,” said John Hayes, director of the Cascade County Tavern Association.

Bars will now have to be reimbursed by the Cascade County Tavern Association for helping people get a ride home.

Hayes said the association just couldn't justify the work to provide rides this year since there may not be many people out late enough to need the service.

"We don't start giving rides until after 10 o’ clock,” Hayes said. "We used to put a 10 or a 12 person team out there with vehicles and we would dispatch through my office to the bars when people called looking for s free ride."

The decision was not made lightly, knowing there will be people in need of a ride. "I'm worried that they could make stupid decisions. I'm very concerned about that,” said Hayes.

If you want a free ride, your bartender will have to order you one from a company. The bar will then have to submit the receipt from the ride to the association for reimbursement.