Safe Ride Home is a program developed by Christensen Law that encourages people who have been drinking on Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve, or St. Patrick’s Day to call a licensed taxi company or Uber for a ride home. Under the guidelines of the program, Christensen Law will reimburse the rider for their ride home up to $35. Christensen Law has represented a significant number of victims and their families who have had their lives dramatically altered by a drunk driver. The goal of this program is to maximize awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, while offering a solution.
The holidays can be a dangerous time on the road. Traffic on highways generally picks up as people are traveling to visit loved ones, weather can cause hazardous road conditions, and fatalities as a result of alcohol-impaired drivers often skyrockets. Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve, and St. Patrick’s Day are typically considered big drinking holidays and the odds of getting into a drunk driving accident on one of these days’ increases dramatically.
- According to MADD, the proportion of people killed in drunk driving crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday spiked by 30 percent in 2010 compared to the rest of the year.
- There are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor between December 31st at 6pm and January 1st at 6am.
- 75 percent of drivers involved in St. Patrick’s Day DUI crashes had blood alcohol levels more than two times over the legal limit.
The Safe Ride Home program debuted on Thanksgiving Eve of 2015. It was wildly successful, so we decided to extend the program to include other popular drinking holidays, specifically New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day. Additional holidays being considered include, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.
“We want to decrease the number of people killed on Michigan roads each year,” Christensen says. “The number rose 10 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year.”
Whether you choose to celebrate on a popular drinking holiday or some other night, Christensen Law encourages everyone to follow a few simple steps to celebrate safely:
- Plan ahead! Before you even take one sip of alcohol, make sure you know how you’re getting home.
- Be prepared! Add contact information for local cab companies or download the Uber app to your smart phone.
- Designate a driver and make sure you have a backup plan in place in case something changes.
“Since starting this program, we have provided close to 1,000 rides home for intoxicated drivers! This past New Year’s Eve alone, we helped 580 people return home safely. Our firm is thrilled at the response, and we plan to continue offering this service to the community,” says David Christensen, founder of Christensen Law.