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Three tips from cabbies on how to catch a ride tonight

Getting around town on New Years Eve is always a challenge.
Getting around town on New Years Eve is always a challenge.
Al Fed/Flickr Creative Commons License

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A boatload of DUI checkpoints are planned for all over the Los Angeles area on New Year's Eve.

L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is threatening prosecution for anyone who drives under the influence.

And in general, local law enforcement and city leaders are hoping that L.A. will end the year with its 16 percent drop in DUI-related accidents for 2012 in check.

Their message for Angelenos: If you're going out to drink tonight, take a cab. 

That's sometimes easier said than done, and more than ever on the busiest night of the year for L.A. taxi driver. Just about every cab in the city is expected to be out tonight, but that surely won't be enough to accommodate all the revelers in town.

Many of us have been there: on the street, ready to go, waving at every taxi in sight, only to find that they're all full.

Should you wait for a cab? Move to a different spot? Call a cab company?

"Nobody takes a call," says Khalifa Majit, who plans on starting the night in his cab at 12:01 am and working as long as he can. "Why take a call when you can pick up a customer?"

Majit says don't call, always hail. And you're better off trying to hail a cab at a hotel or a club, where taxis circle for customers.

Taxi driver Shahen Keshishian says "walk to a Metro station or stand" or a major interesection. But if you're already at the Metro, consider hopping on, since it runs all night and free for the holiday.

Veteran cabbie Art Ashes, who won't be out tonight because he convinced it's "not worth it," says the key is patience. As for how to win the cab-finding wars: "I just can't say. It's all about luck."