FREE ST. PATRICK’S DAY CAB
RIDES OFFERED IN GREATER WASHINGTON
TONIGHT TO CURB DRUNK DRIVING
(Washington, DC) - Area officials announced today that free cab rides will be offered to potential drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area beginning at 4:00 pm today (St. Patrick’s Day), in an effort to prevent traffic fatalities related to alcohol. Nearly 40 percent of all US traffic deaths on St. Patrick’s Day are alcohol-related.*
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide program will operate from 4:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17, 2009 and will continue until 4:00 am on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, as a means to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.
“People might be surprised to know that more Americans are killed by drunk drivers during St. Patrick’s Day than on New Year’s Eve,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.
SoberRide is offered in the District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.
“We urge people to designate their sober driver in advance – before the festivities begin or use SoberRide,” said Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “Police forces from throughout the region will be out today and tonight doing everything we can to both identify and apprehend impaired drivers.”
Last St. Patrick’s Day (2008), 218 persons used WRAP’s SoberRide service rather than possibly driving home impaired. During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1 – 800 – 200 – TAXI (8294) and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $50 fare), safe way home.
b]AT&T wireless customers can dial # - TAXI (8294)[/b] for the same service. Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
Sponsors of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide include Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Baileys & Bushmills, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, Red Top Cab and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
In addition, eight of the Washington-metropolitan area’s popular Irish restaurants have also united to ensure a safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year by sponsoring SoberRide. These dining establishments include: Daniel O’Connell’s Restaurant (VA); The Dubliner Restaurant and Pub (DC); Fado (DC); Irish Channel Restaurant (DC); Irish Inn at Glen Echo (MD); Kelly’s Irish Times (DC); Martin’s Tavern (DC); and Murphy’s Grand Irish Pubs (DC and VA).
Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Manassas Cab Company; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.
Founded in 1982, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program is an award-winning public-private partnership working to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths consistently lower than the national average.
Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 43,386 free cab rides home to potential drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
For more information, visit www.soberride.com.
(* 38.4% -- source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2004-2008 U.S. highway data, see: http://www.stopimpaireddriving.org/planners/StPatrick2009/tp.doc .)