Washington, D.C., March 20 – Nearly 700 persons (697) in the Washington-metropolitan area used the free safe ride service, SoberRide®, this St. Patrick’s Day as opposed to possibly driving home drunk.

“For its hours of operation this St. Patrick’s Day, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a potential drunk driver from Greater Washington’s roadways every 62-seconds,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, President of the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program, the organization conducting the region’s SoberRide® effort.

WRAP’s 2019 St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide® campaign began at 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 17th (St. Patrick’s Day) and continued until 4:00 am, the next day, Monday, March 18th, 2019 as a way to keep local roads safe from potentially impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk holiday. During this 12-hour period, area residents celebrating with alcohol could download Lyft to their phones, then enter the code STPATRICKSDAY19 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 now solely available via the Lyft mobile app ridesharing platform.)

Since partnering with Lyft, WRAP reports a more than tripling of its annual SoberRide® ridership 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 St. Patrick’s Day being a time when nearly 40-percent 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 this weekend,” said Steve Taylor, General Manager, Lyft Washington DC.

This past Sunday’s ridership was the second highest for St. Patrick’s Day in SoberRide’s 29-year history and was only surpassed by the 982 persons in the Greater Washington area using the service last year when St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Halloween and the winter holidays through and including New Year’s Eve.

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 St. Patrick’s Day SoberRide® campaign included 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, Lyft, MillerCoors, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.

In addition, eleven of the Washington-metropolitan area’s better-known Irish restaurants have also united to ensure a safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year by sponsoring SoberRide®. These dining establishments include: The Dubliner Restaurant & Pub (DC); Fadó (DC); The Irish Whisper (MD); James Hoban’s Irish Restaurant & Bar (DC); Kelly’s Irish Times (DC); The Limerick Pub (MD); Martin’s Tavern Est. 1933 (DC); Murphy’s Grand Irish Pubs (DC & VA); O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (VA); Rí Rá Irish Pub (DC); and Siné Irish Pub (VA).

Since 1991, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 76,195 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-related traffic deaths lower than the national average. WRAP, however, may best be known to area residents via the organization’s popular free safe ride service for would-be drunk drivers, SoberRide®.

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