Jul 26, 2014
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WRAP Offers Free Cab Rides for Would-be Drunk Drivers

This holiday season advocates against drunk driving encourage D.C. residents to pick up the phone and call a cab for free rather than get behind the wheel.

WRAP Offers Free Cab Rides for Would-be Drunk Drivers
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program, a nonprofit aimed at preventing drunk driving, will again sponsor free cab rides home around Christmas and New Year's Eve, starting on Dec. 13 and operating until Jan. 1. 

Last year, the SoberRide program gave 1,927 rides in December, and a similar amount are expected to ride this year, said WRAP President Kurt Erickson. 

"It's the busiest time of year," Erickson said. "We give about 100 rides a night."

That is especially true for Georgetown, because there is less public transportation than in the rest of the District, Erickson said. 

"That’s a huge amount of would-be drunk drivers taken off the roadways," he said.

Washington as a whole has a disproportionate amount of people that use the service, he said. SoberRides are offered four times a year during St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day, Halloween and the winter holidays, and serve several surrounding counties in Virginia and Maryland as well as D.C.

But the majority of donations made to the program come from businesses in Washington, Erickson said. For example, Billy Martin's Tavern in Georgetown is a huge supporter of the program, he said.

"I think people probably don’t realize that responsible bartenders and servers often make the call for this service," Erickson said. 

The taxi company serving Georgetown this year is Yellow Cab of D.C. To call a free cab for yourself or someone in need, dial 1 (800) 200- TAXI or #WRAP from a cell phone. 

WRAP just wants to communicate that there are alternatives to getting behind the wheel after drinking, Erickson said, "There are plenty alternatives to drunk driving." 

SoberRide will operate between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. each night from Dec. 13 to Jan.1. Yellow Cab will take passengers up to $30 worth of fare, but passengers will have to pay anything more than that amount, rides will not be scheduled in advance and callers must be at least 21 years old. 

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