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.
- 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.