During the holiday season, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is sponsoring a "Sober Ride" program, which provides free cab rides to anyone who drinks too much and cannot drive home safely.
The program, funded by WRAP, Coors Beer, local taxi companies including Barwood Cab in Montgomery County, and various car dealerships around the Capital Beltway, will run through Jan. 2. Last year, it provided 630 free rides to impaired drivers.
"Drunk drivers don't know jurisdictional boundaries," WRAP past president Jerry Sachs said last week, explaining the scope of the holiday program.
People who need the free taxi service can call (703) 578-HOME.
According to statistics provided by WRAP, alcohol was involved in 52 traffic fatalities in Prince George's County last year. The statistics show that the number of alcohol-related deaths has been falling in the past four years. Prince George's recorded 65 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 1982.
Also last week, officials from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization announced that motorists in parts of the Washington area will see red this holiday season -- red ribbons tied to car door handles, outside mirrors and antennas. The campaign is an effort to alert drivers to the risks of drinking and driving.
"We want to change the expression 'tie one on,' " said Virginia Bright, executive director of the Montgomery County Chapter of MADD, which along with Howard County announced its program last week. "Let's tie a red ribbon on this year."
Along with MADD's distribution of 200,000 streamers of red ribbon, which can be picked up free at all Giant Food Stores, Criswell Chevrolet and several Montgomery county offices, Montgomery County police will be stepping up their patrols for drunk drivers in an effort to quell the likelihood of crime and accidents.
During the next two weeks, Montgomery County Police Chief Bernard D. Crooke Jr. said, sobriety checkpoints will be set up throughout the county.