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alcohol_free_answer_4_xlargeWashington, DC, Jan. 1 – Nearly 2,000 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free cab ride service, SoberRide, this holiday season as opposed to possibly driving home drunk.

“For its hours of operation on New Year’s Eve alone, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a would-be drunk driver from Greater Washington’s roadways every 74-seconds,”  said Kurt Gregory Erickson, President of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program, the organization conducting the region’s SoberRide effort.

WRAP’s most recent holiday SoberRide offering – which concluded at 6:00 am this morning after kicking-off and running nightly since December 14, 2012 –  provided 1,927 total, free cabs rides to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.

Nearly 400 (387) utilized the Washington-metropolitan area service last night (New Year’s Eve) alone. (During last New Year’s Eve [2011], a comparative 396 persons used WRAP’s SoberRide program.)

The most recent holiday SoberRide program operated between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am each evening for 18 consecutive days as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk, holiday period. During that period, Washington-metropolitan area residents celebrating with alcohol could call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1–800–200–TAXI and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $ 30 fare), safe way home. (AT&T wireless customers could dial #-WRAP for the same service.)

Since 1993 alone, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 57,778 free cab rides to would-be impaired drivers in the Greater Washington area.

SoberRide was 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. In these areas, local taxicab companies provided this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.

Sponsors of the 2012 Holiday SoberRide campaign include: Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Diageo, GEICO, Giant Food. MillersCoors, Red Top Cab, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.

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 nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program is an award-winning public-private partnership working to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking in the Washington-metropolitan area. 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.

More information about WRAP’s SoberRide initiative can be found at http://www.soberride.com

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