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Drive Safe, Drive Sober free rides return for New Year’s in Ludington area

December 28, 2017 GMT

Ludington’s Drive Safe, Drive Sober is returning Sunday night to keep area residents safe during their New Year’s celebrations.

The program offers people in Ludington and nearby areas free Dial-a-Ride trips to and from their revelries and area towing services are again providing free tows and rides to people who have had too much to drink.

The number to call for the dial-a-ride service is 845-6218. Arrange for a tow by calling Mason-Oceana 911 at the non-emergency number of 869-5858.

“The majority of riders plan to use that for their holiday transportation instead of driving,” Ludington Police Chief Mark Barnett said about the program, which began in 2003. “It’s been a great success. Thousands of people, over the years, have decided to take a ride. We feel confident it has reduced drunk driving arrests over the years. If we can prevent them (from drunk driving) it’s better than locking them up.”

Last year’s Drive Safe, Drive Sober program was used by 1,450 riders, Barnett said, and involved 18 vehicles that were towed to drivers’ homes instead of being impounded.

During New Year’s Eve 2016 and New Year’s Day 2017 there were also only three drunken driving arrests.

“Which, frankly, was up from quite a few years when we had zero,” Barnett said about last year’s arrests.

The program is sponsored by Ludington Beverage, Ludington Mass Transportation Authority and towing companies Quinn’s, Abrahamson’s Oceana Auto and Fiers Tow and Recovery.

Read the full story in Thursday’s Ludington Daily News print and eEditions.