JEFFERSON CITY - Police here said Friday they are observing National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month and will offer free rides home through the end of the year.
Jefferson City Police and local beverage distributors have teamed up and created a fund to offer rides to Jefferson City residents within the city limits.
The vouchers are worth $10 toward a taxi ride. Anything more than that is the responsibility of the rider.
The Sober Driver Program is a community-based program which provides free taxi rides to individuals who have become too impaired to legally or safely drive an automobile, or to passengers who choose not to ride with an impaired driver. In 2010, more than 2000 rides were given to impaired individuals. Free taxi rides can be acquired in two ways. Establishments that sell alcohol by the drink have the vouchers. Or interested people can call 636-7102 for a free ride home.
The procedure works like this:
- A Checker Cab will be dispatched to your location.
- A "Sober Driver" ticket will be presented to the individual needing a ride by the business.
- The ticket is then presented to the driver of the cab by the patron.
- The Sober Driver ticket then entitles the passenger to a free ride home from the establishments.
- Individuals hosting private parties are eligible to use this program.
- Tickets for party guests can be acquired prior to the event by calling: Fechtel Beverage at 636-5161 or the Jefferson City Police Department at 634-6397.
- Tickets acquired for private parties will have expiration dates covering the time frame of the party
The program is offered year round. Bernie Fechtel has been heading the program since it began in 1999. He said that some people don't use the program because they don't want to go throught the hassle of going back to get their car. But Fechtel said, "If that's the case, we will give you two. One for when you've been drinking, and one for when you are sober. We just don't want you to drink and drive."
The program has given more than 18,000 rides.