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.