SafeRide Program offers free rides home

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- State statute says bars and taverns in Wisconsin aren’t required to close down at all on New Year’s – but whatever time you do decide to go home, there are alternatives to getting behind the wheel.

“With all the cabs and ride sharing and designated drivers and our SafeRide Program, there really is no reason for you to drive tonight,” says Don Mjelde, President of the Brown County Tavern League.

Long after the clock strikes midnight and you’re heading home, you don't have to reach for your keys.

“What we're trying to do is convince people to go out responsibly. Sure celebrate responsibly, but if you leave the car at home, there's a lot better way for you to get home,” Mjelde says.

Odds are your local bar is part of the Tavern League, and the free SafeRide Program that goes along with it.

“Ask your local tavern if they do participate in the SafeRide Program,” Mjelde says. “If they do, they would fill out a voucher and give you a ride home anywhere within the county.”

Over the past year, there’s been more than 95,000 safe rides given across the state, breaking down to 260 safe rides daily.

At Mjelde’s bar, Richard Craniums in Brown County, bartenders order up to 50 free safe rides per month.

“The more people that know about it, the better it gets,” he says. “This is kind of growing exponentially, in terms of people that are telling everybody else. 'Hey, they have the SafeRide Program at such and such an establishment. Let's go out there, so we can get a ride home.'”

SafeRide Programs are offered in most counties across the state. Contact your local Tavern League or bar to see if they participate.