Preparing to combat that time of year when, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one-third (33.8 percent) of all U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout the Washington-metropolitan area this Thursday and on the Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, May 5.
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2016 Cinco de Mayo SoberRide program, now in its second year after being inaugurated in 2015, will be in operation beginning at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2016 and continue until 4 a.m. on Friday, May 6, as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday.
During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide phone number 1–800–200–TAXI (8294) and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.
Last year, 164 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used WRAP’s first new holiday SoberRide offering in nearly two decades. The charity also offers its SoberRide program on St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, Halloween and the winter holidays leading up to and including New Year’s Eve.
Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
“According to government figures, over a third of U.S. highway deaths on Cinco de Mayo involve drunk drivers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s president. “Worse, nearly a fifth of these drivers involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentration levels of .15 or higher.”
SoberRide is 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.
Sponsors of this year’s Cinco de Mayo SoberRide campaign include AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, 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; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; 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 (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with historically keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths lower than the national average.
Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 64,891 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
For more information, visit www.soberride.com.