While driving through Maryland on my way home from a New Year’s visit to family, I was thrilled to hear that "SoberRide," about which I had written previously, had setter a record this winter for conveying New Years revelers who had a bit too much to drink. Rather than hearing stories of numerous car crashes and avoidable deaths on the roads during this holiday, I was welcomed back to the DC Metro area with my favorite kind of news – Good News ! Each drunk driver SoberRide takes off our local Maryland, Virginia and DC roadways means one less unsafe driver endangering our families, friends and homes. SoberRide, the program that provides free taxi rides to those impaired due to drinking this weekend, recorded 967 rides on New Year’s Eve. According to the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, which coordinates the rides, that number eclipsed the 808 rides provided on New Year’s Eve in 2002, which was the previous record.
"For its hours of operation, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a would-be drunk driver from greater Washington’s roadways every 30 seconds," said Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of WRAP, a public-private partnership that works to prevent drunken driving and underage drinking. According to the Washington Post report, SoberRide provided 2,530 rides during its most recent effort, from Dec. 17 to Jan. 1. The service operated from 10 p.m to 6 a.m. each night. Local residents ages 21 and older could obtain free taxi rides up a $30 value. WRAP officials said SoberRide has provided 51,718 free cab rides since it began in 1993.