‘It saves a lot of lives’: Tavern League encourages you to use SafeRide program on New Year’s Eve
Madison Metro to offer free rides
MADISON, Wis. — If you plan on going out to ring in the new year this year, know that you have options to get you home safely.
Christy’s Landing is one of 200 members in Dane County of the Tavern League. All of those restaurants and taverns are involved in the year-long SafeRide program.
“It’s huge. It saves a lot of lives,” said the bar’s owner, Eric Christenson. “This year, we’ll serve almost 4,000 rides to residents of Dane County, and if you think about how many drunk drivers that takes off the road, it’s incredible.”
There are 5,000 members of the Tavern League of Wisconsin, and the organization offers the SafeRide program in all except for eight counties. Last year, Tavern League members provided more than 91,000 SafeRides to their customers, according to the organization’s website.
Partially because of the program, Wisconsin has cut the number of alcohol-related fatalities in half since 2003.
Last year, the SafeRide program cost near $1 million. It was partially funded by a surcharge on drunken driving convictions, and the rest was paid by Tavern League members.
“All you have to do is go up to your bartender and ask for a safe ride home, and they will fill out a voucher for you, call a taxi and let the taxi come straight to the bar to pick you up and take you straight home,” Christenson said.
Madison Metro Transit, in partnership with the Tavern League, will also offer free bus rides on New Year’s Eve from 7 p.m. Monday to 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
To find a Tavern League member that offers SafeRides in your area, you can visit the organization’s website.
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