Wood Co. Safe Ride service aims to reduce drunken driving - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wood Co. Safe Ride service aims to reduce drunken driving

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MARSHFIELD (WAOW) -

Officials want to make sure everybody has a safe New Year's celebration, and that means not drinking and driving.

"You've got to think of how many deaths and traffic accidents and injuries have occurred due to drunk driving," said Marshfield Patrol Officer Matt Berres.

Police say they plan to step up patrols to help keep drivers safe.

"We will make our presence known on the roadways and also make our presence known around the bars and taverns," said Berres.

Officials urge those going out to make sure they have a safe way to get home.

For people going out in Wood County, there are options like the county's Safe Ride program.

"It can't be for bar hopping, but you get a safe ride home, and it's at no cost to the patron," said Mary Lou Duerr, Marshfield Safe Ride Coordinator.

Organizers say more people use the service during the holidays.

"People have a tendency to go out and party a little more, and we just want to make sure they get home safely," said Duerr.

But the Wood County Safe Ride program isn't the only option for people out on New Year's Eve.

The Wood County Sheriff and former Wisconsin Tavern League President, David Hahn also give free rides home to those in outlying communities.

"You might be able to drive, but we'll drive you home safe so you got another change to come back tomorrow," said Hahn.

Officials say they don't know people to take any chances with drunken driving.

"it's better to be safe than to get in the vehicle and something happens, and you end up injuring somebody or killing somebody all because you said, ‘Well, I'm probably okay to drive,'" said Berres.

The Wood County Safe Ride service is paid for by the state and bar owners and is offered year round.

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