Many cities in the United States offer free taxi services to prevent driving under the influence. In most cases, these are nonprofit organizations operated entirely by volunteers. Some may be supported through public funds or work in concert with the police. Quite a few colleges offer programs funded through student fees. And many taxi companies offer a certain number of free rides from designated locations or offer discounted rides to help people avoid the temptation of getting behind the wheel after a drink.
If you are planning a night out when you might become intoxicated, consider choosing a designated driver. If this isn’t possible, plan ahead by knowing what your free taxi service options might be. Remember, it is never worth it to risk driving while intoxicated. Even if nobody is harmed, you might face significant fines and other penalties – including losing your license, which can have dramatic consequences for your career and personal relationships.
Wrap: Sober Ride: Anyone in Birmingham may request a free ride home after drinking if they make the call from a participating establishment in the city. Participants include more than a dozen popular restaurants and night spots.
Tucson: University of Arizona Safe Ride Program: This Safe Ride program helps University of Arizona students and instructors. Those in need may call for a ride from anywhere in the local area around the campus.
Fayetteville: Safe Ride Program of the University of Arkansas: University of Arkansas students who have had other transportation plans fall through are welcome to call the Safe Ride Program if they cannot drive or feel they may be in danger.
Santa Clarita Valley: Safe Rides for Teenagers: Teens can contact the Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides Program to get a safe and confidential ride home as an alternative to driving under the influence.
Fort Collins: Ram Ride for University Students: Ram Ride operates six days of the week to provide a “safe, free, and non-judgmental” ride home for students of Colorado State University. It has been in operation for more than 11 years.
Statewide: Delaware Designated Drivers, Free in Your Own Vehicle: A volunteer from this organization of designated drivers will help people throughout Delaware with a free ride home in the rider’s own vehicle on Friday and Saturday nights.
Safe Ride America: Metro America Safe Drivers serves Georgians in major communities throughout the state. Those seeking a free ride are encouraged to call from a sponsoring location for a free ride.
Kalamazoo: Drive Safe Service for Western Michigan University Students: This volunteer organization provides safe and free rides for students of WMU. It operates on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 p.m. while school is in session.
Maryville: Safe Ride for Northwest Missouri State Students: This “safe ride” group is led by the Northwest Missouri State University Police. Guests can use the service if they are accompanied by a current student.
Portales: Free Rides for Eastern New Mexico University Students: This program operates between 8 a.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. Monday, providing free and confidential rides to Eastern New Mexico University students. It is fully student-operated.
Norman: OU Safe Ride for Oklahoma University Students: The OU Safe Ride program is available to OU students on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Riders must pick up a voucher from the Student Association Office before using the service.
Eugene: Designated Driver Shuttle: A student-run program at the University of Oregon provides free shuttle service for intoxicated students.
Brookings: SDSU Safe Ride Home Program: The Safe Ride Home program at South Dakota State University offers free transporation for SDSU students and visitors on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio: List of Designated Driver Services: This page lists current nonprofit and commercial taxi services throughout Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, and San Antonio that can provide free rides home.
College Station: Carpool for Texas A&M University Students: A student-run nonprofit organization provides free rides home using student volunteers. Services are available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.
Lubbock: Night Shuttle Safe Ride of Lubbock for Texas Tech University Students: Texas Tech University students are eligible for free rides between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. every night. Rides are confidential, and students may call on them for any reason.
Nacogdoches: Driving Jacks: Stephen F. Austin State University Free Ride: Students at this nonprofit have provided more than 21,718 safe, free rides. Dispatchers are available from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
San Antonio: RUI: RUI is a nonprofit organization that offers San Antonio locals and visitors free rides from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. RUI is also involved in DUI awareness and prevention programs in the community.
Greater DC Area: Sober Ride – Free Cab Rides Home Up to $30 in Value: This program, sponsored by the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, provides a free ride on St. Patrick’s Day to anyone aged 21 or older. Rides cannot be scheduled in advance.
By Ted Burgess