In 2011, 196 people died in alcohol-related accidents in Wisconsin. These deaths accounted for 36 percent of all traffic deaths. According to AAA, the New Year’s holiday consistently ranks as the top holiday for DUI crashes.
Fortunately, you can drink and get home without ever getting behind the wheel. SafeRide is funded by the Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Part of the funding comes from fines collected from those who are convicted of drunk driving.
The little-known program has been operating since 1985 and offers free rides home to patrons of participating bars, taverns, pubs, nightclubs and restaurants in 60 of 72 Wisconsin counties.
The SafeRide program can be used by anyone at any time. To access the program, the drinker must tell the waitress, server, or bartender that he or she is in need of a ride. The bartender will call a cab and hand the drinker a voucher. The voucher is given to the taxi driver. The cab company is reimbursed when the voucher is turned in to the local Tavern League.
In Wisconsin’s rural areas, there is a similar program called the Good Samaritan Ride staffed by volunteers.
If you are drinking this New Year’s Eve, stay off the road. If you don’t have a designated driver, make plans to get home safely. If paying for a taxi is not an option, consider the SafeRide program.
Hupy and Abraham represents victims of drunk driving accidents throughout Wisconsin. Help us prevent DUI tragedies by sharing this information with your friends and family. Happy New Year!