SoberRide logs 911 rides since holiday rollout in December

WASHINGTON —  With holiday office parties and New Year’s Eve carousing the just-ended holiday season was a busy time for SoberRide, the free cab ride home service to area residents who’ve been drinking.

The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program says it provided 336 cab rides to New Year’s Eve partiers.

“If you divide that by the eight hours that we offered the program between 10 p.m. (on New Year’s Eve) and 6 a.m. (on New Year’s Day) it translates into the removal of a would-be drunk driver off greater Washington area roadways every minute and a half,” said Kurt Erickson, president of Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

SoberRide provides a free cab ride home up to $30 in D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, and throughout most of northern Virginia. Erickson estimates the group spends up to $50,000 a year providing cab rides to potentially impaired drivers.

The rides are offered each holiday season, beginning in mid-December and ending on New Year’s Day.

“We started the program back on Dec. 16, and so for those consecutive days, it was a total of 911. Yes, I see the irony in the number, but 911 would-be drunk drivers taken off the roadways by this local, lifesaving program,” Erickson said.

SoberRides will roll again on the next holiday popular for drinking, Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17.   SoberRides are also offered on Cinco de Mayo, July Fourth and Halloween.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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