JEFFERSON CITY - As local residents get ready to celebrate this New Year's, the Jefferson City Police Department and Fechtel Beverage remind residents to take advantage of the Sober Driver Program.
Restaurants and bars will provide taxi vouchers worth up to $10 to intoxicated patrons, or to those who are uncomfortable with their driver.
Individuals can call 573-636-7102 to have a Checker cab sent to their location.
Riders can only use the voucher for a ride to their hotel or place of residence, not to another party. Residents using the vouchers are responsible for paying the difference if their ride exceeds the $10 limit.
"There's a lot of complacency that, you know, well, I don't want to wait for a cab or I think I'm fine, but we just want to remind people there's no reason to take a chance. It's free and the program is there, all you have to do is ask," said Bernie Fechtel, owner of Fechtel Beverage.
Fechtel said ridership on New Year's Eve fell nearly 25 percent from 2011 to 2012.
"The program is still available for their use and it's still just as important today to do the right thing and be responsible if you're going to use alcohol," said Fechtel.
Since 1999, Jefferson City's Sober Drive Program has provided nearly 20,000 sober rides.