While many are preparing to head out for a night on the town or for quiet gatherings with close family and friends – Edmonton police are getting ready for one of the busiest nights of the year for impaired driving.

“It’s just a question of the numbers, not if, but how many,” Staff Sgt. Malcolm Allan said.

It’s a familiar plea from police, asking Edmontonians to use other forms of transportation, and to not drive.

“Don’t plan to drive to an event, get a ride, take a bus,” Staff Sgt. Allan said. “However you get there, so you’re not in the position when the night is over to make a decision whether or not to drive after you’ve been drinking.”

A number of options are available to Edmontonians for a safe ride home.

A fleet of more than 1,000 taxi cabs will be on city streets throughout the night – although, potential riders are advised the wait may be longer than usual.

“We are out there in full force, and we will try to take everyone home,” Balraj Manhas with Yellow Cab said.

Taxi companies suggest customers book their cab early, either online or by calling ahead of time.

“The best thing is to book online and book in advance and the cab will be there,” Manhas said. “It may take 5 to 10 minutes extra, but at least the cab will be there.”

Edmonton Transit has made transit free for everyone between 6 p.m. Monday and 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to transit and taxis, a designated driver service such as Dedicated Designated Drivers is preparing to get people and their cars home safely.

“We send two drivers, we show up where you want to be picked up, and one driver will get out and drive you and your vehicle home,” Jamie Steinhauer, with Dedicated Designated Drivers said.

Whatever type of transportation you choose, police said it’s better than deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking.

“It’s just not worth the risk or the regret that you’d have to yourself if something bad happened as a result of you drinking and driving,” Staff Sgt. Allan said.

With files from Brenna Rose