New Jersey town to reward drunks with free Uber rides

New Jersey town to reward drunks with free Uber rides

In a desperate bid to curb drunken driving, one New Jersey town is just going to let drunks ride Uber for free.

Good news if you’re drunk an in you’re in the New Jersey town of Evesham Township — you get a free ride home courtesy of a new government-backed program.

To be fair, this town of 45,000 isn’t taking the decision lightly due to the huge amount of drunken driving cases in Evesham Township — and it’s a significant step, as it would make the town the first to ever partner with the ride-sharing service in an official capacity, according to a Reuters report.

Under the new program, those who drink at one of 19 businesses that serve alcohol will be able to get a free Uber ride home. The program began last week, and it is funded by donors. So at least taxpayers won’t have to foot the bill, and it may do a lot of good if it’s successful. Officials are hoping it goes a long way to reduce the large amount of drunken driving cases and therefore the number of deaths that result beause of them.

The town is also looking into a new mobile app called BeMyDD — DD stands for designated driver — which would allow people to hire a driver to not only take them home, but also their cars.

Area nonprofits and businesses are pitching in for this effort. They want to make it as easy as possible for intoxicated individuals to push a button on their iPhone and get home safely without incident.

Just how bad is the problem in Evesham? A total of 250 DUI arrests were made in 2015, which is a town record.

A pilot program back in September included using town shuttles to give 350 people free rides home. The program was a success: DUI arrests decreased from a monthly average of 23 so far that year to just eight in September, a tremendous drop.

The rides are available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. seven days per week. The partnership will run through Jan. 2, after which the town will reevaluate.

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