Free-ride options for St. Patrick’s Day in DC area

WASHINGTON — St. Patrick’s Day celebrants who tie one on too tightly in the D.C. area have some free options to get home safely.

And they’re as simple as calling a taxi or using a smartphone app.

There’s good reason to take advantage of them, too: In Maryland, for instance, more than 170 people die and more than 20,000 people are injured because of impaired driving, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

And those who think they can drink, drive and pull it off should think again, said Christine Nizer, administrator of the Maryland Department of Transportation.

“Nearly 23,000 people were arrested for impaired driving last year in Maryland, and police across the state are stepping up their efforts to keep our roadways safe,” Nizer said.

Ernest Chrappah, director of the District’s Department of For-Hire Vehicles, said these free ride programs “help to ensure greater Washington, D.C., residents have a safe ride home and prevent accidents and fatalities from drunk driving.”

Safe Ride Program

The Yellow Cab Company’s Safe Ride Program is offering free rides from 9 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday. Simply call 202-420-7533.

The passenger will be responsible for the difference if the fare exceeds a $20 limit per trip. All trips must originate from a D.C. bar or restaurant or entertainment venue, and the destination must be a residential address.

SoberRide Program

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) will offer its SoberRide Program from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday.

Using the free Lyft smartphone app, those 21 or older can enter the code “SOBERRIDE” in the app’s Promo section to receive up to $20 off one ride taken in the D.C. coverage area.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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