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Drinking Tonight? Let a SoberRide Taxi Do The Driving

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program aims to reduce drunk driving during the holidays by offering free cab rides throughout the greater Washington region.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program aims to reduce drunk driving during the holidays by offering free cab rides throughout the greater Washington region. Patch file photo
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program aims to reduce drunk driving during the holidays by offering free cab rides throughout the greater Washington region. Patch file photo

By Jane Lemons

It's that time of year when you can sometimes have too much holiday cheer.

So if you over-imbibe, don't get behind the wheel. The nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program — or WRAP — has a better alternative: a free taxi service called SoberRide.

In an effort to decrease drunk driving, the holiday SoberRide program will be offered from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly from through Jan. 1. To receive a free cab ride home — up to a $30 fare — call 1-800-200-TAXI. AT&T customers can dial #WRAP from their wireless phones.

Last December, nearly 2,000 greater Washington residents used the service, WRAP President Kurt Gregory Erickson said in a statement. On New Year's Eve alone, 387 people took advantage of SoberRide — which Erickson estimated removed a would-be drunk driver from the roadways every 74 seconds.

Here's how the program works:

  • WRAP's SoberRide provides a free cab ride home up to a $30 fare. Callers are financially responsible for anything over $30.
  • You must be 21 or older to use the SoberRide service.
  • You can't reserve a SoberRide or schedule a pickup in advance. To receive a ride, you must call 1-800-200-8294 (TAXI) during the program hours. A SoberRide call operator will direct your request to the correct participating cab company.
In addition, all calls must originate in:
  • Washington.
  • Virginia: Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and eastern Loudoun counties; or in the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park.
  • Maryland: Montgomery and Prince George's counties; or in the cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park.

Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide program has provided 58,576 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the greater Washington area. 

The service is offered during the December-January holiday season as well as St. Patrick's Day, Independence Day and Halloween. For more information, visit the WRAP website.

Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Dec. 28, 2013.

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