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More than 1,900 use SoberRide during holidays

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

SClBMore than 1,900 people in the Washington area used a service that provides free overnight taxi rides during the holiday season, an effort designed to keep drunken drivers off the region's roadways.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program said Tuesday that its SoberRide program provided 1,927 cab rides during an 18-day stretch that began Dec. 14. On New Year's Eve alone, the group said it ensured 387 revelers made it home safely.

"For its hours of operation on New Year's Eve alone, this level of ridership translates into SoberRide removing a would-be drunk driver from greater Washington's roadways every 74 seconds," said Kurt Gregory Erickson, the nonprofit's president.

The group has offered nearly 58,000 rides since it began operating the SoberRide program in 1993, Erickson said.

While the winter holidays are the busiest period of activity for the program, which paid the first $30 of any fare for passengers over 21 years old between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., SoberRide also gives rides on St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July and Halloween.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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