DC Is Giving Out Free Rides To Drunk Independence Day Celebrators

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Anybody getting drunk on Independence Day in the Washington, D.C., region will be offered a free cab service as part of a non-profit’s annual effort to curb drunk driving fatalities during the lively holiday.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), a non-profit partnering with the District government, will offer taxi rides worth up to $30 in value to intoxicated individuals 21 years and older. The program stretches from 10 p.m. July 4 through 4 a.m. on July 5. To use the SoberRide program patrons simply have to call 1-800-200-TAXI to summon a ride from one of nine participating cab companies, reports NBC Washington.

WRAP is offering the program within the city and throughout neighboring areas in Virginia and Maryland, including Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and Montgomery counties.

“According to government figures, 41-percent of U.S. highway deaths over the July 4th holiday period involve drunk drivers,” Kurt Erickson, president of WARP, said in a statement. “Worse, more than a fourth of these drivers involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentration levels of .15 or higher.”

WRAP, founded in 1982, works with localities in the D.C. area to educate communities on drunk driving and to spread awareness during times when fatalities are more common. Just 237 people in the D.C. region used the service during Independence Day celebrations last year. Since the program’s inception, roughly 65,116 free cab rides have been given out through the service.

Overall the D.C. Metro area suffers an ongoing struggle with drunk driving prevention. Roughly one third of traffic deaths in the area are caused by drunk driving, a study from WRAP found last year. On average a drunk driver is being arrested every 30 minutes in the D.C. area, according to their data.

“There is a pretty good probability that you will be apprehended if you are drunk driving in the greater Washington area,” Erickson told The Washington Post. “But unfortunately there are a number of people that are escaping that apprehension and are causing an increased amount of carnage.”

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