OUR OPINION: Sober Driver is your ticket for safe holidays

‘Tis the season ... for Sober Driver.

Sober Driver is a year-round program, but visibility — and usage — peak during the holiday season.

The program provides free taxi rides for people too impaired to drive or passengers who choose not to ride with an impaired driver.

Here’s how it works.

• Businesses that sell liquor by the drink will provide a Sober Driver ticket to a patron upon request. Patrons may call Checker Cab at 636-7102 and redeem the ticket for a free ride home.

• Hosts of private parties who have acquired tickets in advance also may use the program for their guests. Hosts may acquire tickets from Police Sgt. Jeff Stiefermann at 634-6397 or by contacting Fechtel Beverage at 636-5161.

Tickets may only be used to be transported home or to a hotel. Each ticket is valued at $10; any costs exceeding that amount are the fare’s responsibility.

In 2009, more than 2,300 rides were provided through the Sober Driver program.

That translates into up to that many trips where preventable accidents were avoided and possible damage, injuries and fatalities didn’t occur.

Drunk driving and its consequences are receiving ever-increasing and well-deserved attention.

The Missouri Highway Patrol’s Troop F announced recently it will be conducting enhanced enforcement targeting drunk driving through Saturday.

Capt. Gregory Kindle, troop commander, said: “No one wants to remember the holiday season as a time when they have lost a loved one due to this preventable tragedy.”

Get the right kind of ticket during the holidays — one that doesn’t yield costly damages, injuries or legal consequences. Ride with Sober Driver.

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