D.C. AREA’S ANTI-DUI EFFORT REMOVES POTENTIAL DRUNK DRIVER FROM AREA ROADWAYS EVERY 31-SECONDS OVER THE WEEKEND
Washington, D.C., July 9– A record over 800 (817) persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free safe ride service, SoberRide®, this Independence Day as opposed to possibly driving home drunk.
“For its hours of operation this Independence Day, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a potential drunk driver from Greater Washington’s roadways every 31-seconds,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, President of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program, the organization conducting the region’s SoberRide® effort.
WRAP’s 2019 July 4th SoberRide® campaign began at 7:00 pm on Thursday, July 4th (Independence Day) and continued until 2:00 am, the next day, Friday, July 5, 2019 as a way to keep local roads safe from potentially impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday. During this seven-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol could download Lyft to their phones, then enter the code JULYFOURTH19 in the app’s “Promo” section to receive their no cost (up to $ 15) safe transportation home while supplies lasted. SoberRide was available to both new and existing Lyft users.
(In 2017, WRAP announced a partnership with the ridesharing service Lyft to provide WRAP’s SoberRide® service in the Washington-metropolitan area. SoberRide®, the popular free safe ride service to prevent drunk driving, is solely available via the Lyft mobile app ridesharing platform.)
Since partnering with Lyft, WRAP reports a more than tripling of its annual SoberRide® ridership (the charity also offers its free safe ride service on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Halloween and the winter holidays through and including New Year’s Eve) with 5,000 total riders in 2018 versus 1,655 in 2016 (the last year when the SoberRide® program was serviced by participating local taxicab companies). SoberRide® provided 4,202 rides with Lyft in 2017.
“With Independence Day being a time when over one-third (39%) of all U.S. traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we’re thrilled by how many people took advantage of the SoberRide program last week,” said Steve Taylor, General Manager, Lyft Washington DC. “Lyft is proud to work with partners like WRAP to connect so many riders with reliable and convenient rides over busy holidays and weekends, including this July 4th.”
The most recent Independence Day ridership of 817 users surpassed WRAP’s previous record ridership for the holiday which had been 746 July 4th SoberRide® users in 2018.
Lyft provided SoberRide® trips throughout the Washington-metropolitan area to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may have attempted to drive home after drinking.
SoberRide® was offered throughout Lyft’s Washington, D.C. coverage area which includes all or parts of: the District of Columbia; the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William.
Sponsors of this year’s Independence Day SoberRide® campaign include the 395 Express Lanes, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, Kendall-Jackson, Lyft, MillerCoors, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
Since 1991, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 77,804 free safe rides home to potential drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
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-impaired traffic deaths lower than the national average.
More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.