Q Here is a good one for the highway message boards tonight: DRIVE HAMMERED. GET NAILED.

Gayle Dewitt

San Jose

A Nailed is right. The fine for a drunken driving conviction can reach $10,000. That's not a typo. Police statewide will have every available officer on duty on New Year's Eve until 11:59 p.m. on New Year's Day. Appoint a designated driver, drive safely and be on high alert. Many drunken drivers often go unusually slow in hopes of avoiding cops.

If you spot a suspected drunk behind the wheel, call 911.

Field sobriety test  in Oakland, 2008.
Field sobriety test in Oakland, 2008. (Bay Area News Group)

Also, BART will extend service until 3 a.m. on New Year's Eve, with trains running every 20 minutes after midnight, while the Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority will offer free rides on all light-rail and bus lines from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. The San Mateo County Transit District will also provide free rides for the same time period.

Q We don't have to wait until 2020 to have driverless cars on public roads. We already have them. I frequently see people eating, texting, putting on makeup and talking animatedly on their phones. It is pretty scary.

Donna Mollenhauer

Redwood City

A It is indeed.


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Q I know bicyclists can legally use cellphones, but are they also exempt from drunken driving laws? I saw a bicyclist weaving all over Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley and wondered if he might have been drinking.

Sarah Adams

A It is unlawful to ride a bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and a violation is handled the same way as a motor vehicle DUI. The bicyclist must provide a sample of blood, breath or urine. A violation is charged as a misdemeanor.

Q I've recently made the move to Hollister, and on the commute home, the exit ramp for Highway 25 backs up dangerously onto 101. Any chance of an upgraded interchange in the near future?

Robert Sadler

Hollister

A Only if you consider 10 years as being in the near future. While the VTA has plans to upgrade this interchange and widen 101 from Morgan Hill to the San Benito County line, it may take a decade to line up funding.

Q Thanks for your article about oleanders in highway medians. One interesting tidbit that you didn't mention is that they are poisonous, and deer know it. Plants in the medians can entice deer onto the road for a quick meal, but deer would take one look at the oleanders and head the other way. Oleanders were therefore excellent median choices to keep deer off the highways.

Susan Howard

San Jose

A You are correct. But where oleanders once stood, there are now concrete barriers to help keep deer off the road.

Q Do all carpool lanes in Los Angeles require three people in a vehicle?

M. Ramos

San Jose

A No. Interstate 10 has a three-plus rule, while it's two or more on I-110 and I-405.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.