Planning to party this Fourth of July? You have a free ride home in the DC area!

Everyone in the D.C. area has access to a designated driver this Fourth of July, thanks to the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s SoberRide program.

The nonprofit is paying up to $15 on the Lyft app for residents celebrating with alcohol on July Fourth to get home safely. The program will begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday and will run until 4 a.m. on Wednesday, July 5.

Kurt Erickson, president of WRAP, said the $15 should cover the estimated cost of most rides around the region.

“But let’s say your fare is $20, we’re still going to pay for the first $15 and the passenger will simply be on the hook for the remaining $5,” Erickson explained.

The program is meant to keep roads safe from impaired drivers that account for 39% of U.S. traffic deaths during the Fourth of July holiday, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s estimates from 2021.

The charity offered its SoberRide program last Independence Day as well as on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween and throughout the winter holidays, a news release said.

“We had 435 people utilize this program last July Fourth,” Erickson said. “I would expect even greater ridership than that, just for the fact that in our most recent campaign we’ve averaged nearly 1,000 rides per night.”

D.C. area residents will have access to the 2023 Independence Day SoberRide promo code at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at the non-profit’s website. The rides coverage area includes all of D.C., Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia.

Erickson urges would-be drunk drivers to take advantage of the program and keep roadways safe during the holiday.

He added that “the program is only as good as the number of persons that use it, that we get out of cars, that otherwise may have driven home after drinking.”

WTOP’s Juan Herrera contributed to this report.

Emily Venezky

Emily Venezky is a digital writer/editor at WTOP. Emily grew up listening to and reading local news in Los Angeles, and she’s excited to cover stories in her chosen home of the DMV. She recently graduated from The George Washington University, where she studied political science and journalism.

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