Programs Aim to Curb Drunk Driving, Regardless of Lean New Year’s

The down economy may have New Year’s Eve revelers attending leaner events this year, but they’ll still need someone to drive them home if they drink too much. This marks the 25th year of the Sober Ride program.

Last New Year’s the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office drove home some 2,600 people in Nashville. This year some 200 volunteers will pick up and drop off intoxicated celebrants anywhere in the city.

Governor’s Highway Safety Office Director Kendell Poole says the flagging economy may dampen some festivities, but the program can’t take that for granted.

“Even lower-key celebrations at home, people are still going to want to drive. No matter whether they’re downtown, partying, reveling or whatever, even if they’re in the suburbs or they’re staying home, there’s still that opportunity to drink and drive.”

In its 25 years of operation, Nashville has only seen one fatality due to alcohol during the hours of Sober Ride. The program runs from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. New Year’s Eve. People needing a lift then can call 862-RIDE.

They can also use “Tow to Go,” which finds a tow truck through AAA and pays to transport two people and their vehicle. That phone number is 1-800-AAA-HELP.

EXTRA:

People needing a ride home from downtown can go to a satellite station at 2nd and Commerce that will ferry them to a staging site at LP field in an effort to consolidate trips across town.

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