Safe Ride Home Program
A local company offers a helpful option to people who drink a little too much on New Year’s Eve. News 25’s Kendra Turley has more on the Gulf Coast Yellow Cab’s Safe Ride Home Program.
From casinos to bars and house parties, New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Gulfport resident Damon Reese said, “We just normally go over to relatives, pop fireworks, have food and stuff like that and just have a good time with family and friends.”
With hundreds of people traveling to and from holiday celebrations, December 31st can also be a big night for DUIs as well. Gulfport resident Reshayla Cooper said, “Drunk driving really doesn’t have a target on anyone. It just, you know, you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., one out of every ten drivers is likely to be driving under the influence on New Year’s Eve. Gulf Coast Yellow Cab designed a program to provide drivers with a safer alternative. Michael Sowler with Gulf Coast Yellow Cab said, “They can go out. Have a good time. Have a night out on the town. They’ve had a few drinks. It’s better to drive home in a yellow cab than drive home and get the blue lights.”
Anyone who feels like they’ve had a little too much to drink can simply hand over their car keys to a bartender at a participating establishment. The bartender will then place your keys in an envelope and call a yellow cab to come pick you up. “The cab arrives, the bartender will give your keys in the envelope to the car driver. He will take you home at no cost to you or the bar. It’s totally funded by Yellow Cab,” said Sowler.
Not only is drunk driving dangerous, it’s also extremely expensive. The consequences of a DUI conviction could cost anywhere between $250 to thousands of dollars. “One drink too many, you can drop your keys, drop your phone and the next thing you know you’re being pulled over. Don’t drink and drive,” said Reese.
At the time, the Safe Ride Home Program is only offered in Harrison County. You can find a list of participating bars and clubs on the Gulf Coast Yellow Cab Facebook page. “Just be prepared. New Year’s Eve is the highest call volume of the year. Give yourself a little extra time. When you know you’re about ready to go, go ahead and order your cab because it may take a little while extra, especially during the peak hours, to get it there,” said Sowler.