Free transportation options on New Year’s Eve

DRUNK-DRIVING

MADISON, Wis. — Programs within Dane County are urging people to plan ahead for safe ways to get home on New Year’s Eve. The Tavern League of Wisconsin is one of those and is offering free transportation with its SafeRide program.

More than 10,000 people a year die due to drunk drivers, which averages one death every 50 minutes, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.

Bar owner Debbie Stueber wants to put an end to drunk driving and its consequences. Her bar, Doubleday’s, is a member of the Tavern League of Wisconsin, which makes her eligible to give out SafeRide vouchers to those who request them.

“There’s just so many options for people not to drive,” Stueber said.

From 2018-19, SafeRide has issued 92,959 free rides, and the organization has seen a 28% decrease in OWI convictions since 2004, according to the Tavern League of Wisconsin. This said, SafeRide isn’t the only option for free transportation on New Year’s Eve. The league is sponsoring Metro Transit, which will start giving free rides at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The free rides will run until 3:30 a.m. January 1.

“I think it’s a great idea,” bus rider Robin said. “People need it. People drink on New Year’s Eve.”

Following the holiday, Stueber will host her Madison/Dane County Tavern League Holiday Party at Doubleday’s on Jan. 26. The party will act as a fundraiser for the league.