Campaign To Prevent Drunk Driving No Longer in Valley

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

A campaign aimed at reducing drunk drivers in our area during the holidays is no longer available.

The Safe Ride Home Campaign hasn't been in Harrisonburg for two years. However, this is the first time that Waynesboro and Staunton don't have the program either.

Will Zampini is planning to celebrate New Year's Eve with his family and friends.

"Drinking is definitely involved with New Year's. Not that is a necessity to have a good time but it helps," Zampini said.

William Zampini said he would contact a cab or a friend after drinking.

"Driving is never an option. Obviously," Zampini said.

The Chandler Law Group used to sponsor free rides during the holidays. The group would pick up the tab if you were going within 10 miles of the city limits.

Adam Chewing with Yellow Cab said it used to keep drunk drivers off the road

"You do notice a difference when the safe ride program was ran and now," Chewing said.

He said without the campaign, more people get behind the wheel, even if they are intoxicated.

"I can actually watch people coming from the bars and climb in their cars and i know they wouldn't normally if they had a safe ride, they would take advantage of it," Chewing said.

Before getting behind the wheel, remember there will be more police and troopers on the road checking for drunk drivers.

In Harrisonburg, during the 2011-2012 New Year's weekend, police charged two people with driving under the influence. In Rockingham County, 14 drivers were arrested for DUI. That's considered an average number of arrest for that time period. In Waynesboro, police arrested four people.

Chewing said there are still many drivers that take a cab instead of drive. According to Chewing, the company receives around 300 to 400 calls during the holiday. The minimum a driver will make on that night would be about $500 to $600, according to Chewing.

Yellow cab will have 15 cabs available, which is more than on a normal weekend.

"It's best to stay off the roads, if at all possible. Call a cab, it's easy. It's cheap and it's not as expensive as a DUI," Chewing said.

WHSV reached to the Chandler Law Group to find out the reason for the closing of the program but did not receive a call back.

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