Drivers who want to party on New Year’s Eve but don’t want to risk an arrest on a charge of DUI in Los Angeles usually have some options: free rides on public transit, or a “Tipsy Tow” offered by a local AAA driving club.
But what if drivers who had a few too many beers or too many glasses of wine at their local bars always had the option of getting a no-cost ride home? Would it make a difference in the number of drivers arrested for DUI? Two towns in New Jersey tried that experiment and the results have been promising.
According to an article on NJ.com, the Evesham Saving Lives program has provided over 2,000 free rides home for residents of Evesham Township and the neighboring Voorhees Township. Introduced more than a year ago as a 30-day pilot, the program has reduced the number of residents arrested for DUI driving by 50 percent. The townships have also seen a 16 percent decrease in alcohol-related car accidents.
Only residents of the two townships are eligible for the free rides. They can request a ride seven days a week, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m., from any establishment that sells liquor. Uber and the driving service BeMYDD provide the rides. Funding for the program comes from various local donors.
The townships recently announced that they have received enough money to continue the free ride program for another year.
Even if a DUI driver in California can’t get a free ride home, calling a cab or messaging Uber for a lift makes good economic sense. The Automobile Club of Southern California recently estimated that the cost of a first-time, misdemeanor DUI conviction can reach nearly $16,000—much more than any cab ride could cost.
Do you need assistance constructing an appropriate response to a DUI charge? Look to the Kraut Law Group’s Michael Kraut for insight and peace of mind. Mr. Kraut is an experience Los Angeles DUI attorney with many relevant connections in the local legal community.