Drinking and Being Driven

After two glorious hours of drinking on the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop, a socialite found herself in quite the predicament. Here she stood on Las Olas at 11:23 p.m. when she spotted the trolley -- phew! -- that would take her back closer to her car -- and then it smacked her in the face: She was too drunk to drive. This wasn't the first time she worried tonight about how she'd get home from the Bus Loop, but, when you have the whole night ahead of you, you tend to shrug off such matters. See, the Bus Loop is the DD! For $20 prepaid or $25 at the check-in, the sun trolleys drive you around at a freakishly fast pace to ten different bars -- you get one free drink at each -- but they ain't taking you home. (Actually, one of the ten places this time is a gourmet popcorn spot, not a bar. Yeah, you get appetizers!) Our gal had to sit at a table outside of Poorhouse in downtown Fort Lauderdale for hours to sober up. Note: The Bus Loop doesn't want you to exit the trolley -- after drinking -- and enter your car, and all proceeds benefit a plethora of good charities. So, before the Bus Loop starts Friday, please take the time to prepare.

Here are some options:

-- Walk to the trolleys, then walk home (have Mace ready).

-- Have someone drop you off at the check-ins: They are at the Galleria Mall (2414 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) or Beach Place. There they give you a drink card to get stamped, so all the bars know you're part of the Loop. The shebang runs from 6 to 11:30 p.m. Then that person can pick you up at whatever dive you end up at.

-- Hook up with RedCap at the check-in. They drive your car home with you in it.

-- Stay at hotel rooms! The Bus Loop recommends two places on its Facebook e-vite: At B Ocean, dish out $99 for the night by calling 954-564-1000. Or stay at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach, which is gonna cost you 109 big ones for the night. And for that, call 888-627-7109.

-- Ask for a cot in the back of one of the participating bars: Cafe Bluefish, McSorley's, Tropic Cay, Michael's Restaurant, Dos Caminos, the Big Kahuna, Sopranos Piano Bar, Cafe Del Mar, Pops Corn, and Blue Martini -- OK, maybe don't ask Blue Martini.

-- Take a regular, stinking old cab. If you go home with someone you met on the Bus Loop, you can split the cost.

Visit busloop.org for more info.
Sat., Aug. 27, 6 p.m., 2011

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Mickie Centrone