Get home safely on New Year’s Eve: Utilize the free “SafeRide Program”

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The iconic New Year's Eve Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles and is illuminated by 32,256 computer-controlled LEDs.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Customers at 92 restaurants and taverns in Milwaukee County can assure themselves a safe trip home on New Year’s Eve by using the “SafeRide Program” — a free transportation service offered by the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

Simply by alerting a bartender, server or other wait staff, a customer will be provided a voucher good for a free ride home. The employee will also call the taxi or private transportation service providing the ride. The customer need only sit back, relax and know they made the right decision not to get behind the wheel while impaired.

“The SafeRide Program’s goal is to keep impaired drivers off the roads by offering a simple, safe alternative to getting home. If a person is unsure whether to drive or not, we want to make the decision easy to err on the side of safety,” Sharon Ward, treasurer of the Milwaukee County Hospitality Association, a chapter of the Tavern League of Wisconsin said.

Participating businesses in the SafeRide Program will have on-premise signage highlighting availability of the service.

The SafeRide voucher is for $25 with $2 built in as a driver tip. The user pays for any fare above $23, and is also encouraged to add a driver gratuity.

“We encourage all patrons to use the SafeRide Program if they are even the slightest bit unsure about driving. The best start to any New Year is to wake up in the morning safe and secure in one’s own home,” Ward said.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin has operated the SafeRide Program for nearly 30 years. More than 80,000 rides were provided throughout the state in 2013-2014 through SafeRide.

The program is available year-round at participating establishments. If patrons are unsure if their favorite bar or restaurant is included, they are encouraged to call ahead or ask an employee.