Safe Ride Stop DWI program enters 33rd year on New Year’s Eve

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Albany County sheriff is rolling out his plan to keep the Capital Region safe as people ring in 2018.

About 12 DWI arrests are made on New Year’s Eve in Albany County every year, and alcohol fatalities double or triple over the holidays.

For those planning on going out for the holiday, they should also plan for a safe ride home. This will be the 33rd year of Albany County’s Safe Ride Stop DWI.

Since the program started, Albany County hasn’t had a single death related to drunk driving on New Year’s Eve.

“There’s absolutely no reason out there whatsoever that anybody has to get in a car after consuming alcohol,” he said.

Dean Bodnar knows firsthand the tragedy that can come with drunk driving. In April 1998, his daughter Allison was heading out with friends.

“Except that night she never came home,” he said.

Allison was hit and killed while standing near the road with her friends.

“The other three kids just got out of the way and Ali didn’t,” Bodnar said.

She was 16. That was nearly 20 years ago, but Bodnar still worries about people driving drunk.

“It scares the heck out of me to be honest with you,” he said. “It really does.”

This year, the STOP DWI program adds discounted ridesharing options, free cab rides, and free CDTA rides to its list of safe transportation options.

“Do not drive,” Carm Basile with CDTA said. “If you have to think about it, don’t do it.”

Even if you’re hosting a party, Sheriff Apple said don’t let people drive if you know they’ve had too much to drink.

“If you host a party and somebody leaves there intoxicated and something horrific happens because of that liability will come back on you,” he said.

New Lyft and Uber users can get a $20 credit by using certain codes. Existing Uber users can get two rides for half off with another code.

CDTA bus rides will be free after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and you can get a free cab ride thanks to law firm Martin, Harding and Mazzotti.

Sheriff Apple said it’s all an effort to have another happy and safe New Year’s.

“Please don’t become a statistic and enjoy the holiday,” he said.

Apple said officers make around a dozen DWI arrests in Albany County on a typical New Year’s Eve. His goal this year is to not find anyone driving under the influence.

The following codes can be used for ride services on New Year’s Eve:

New Lyft user: RIDESAFE518

New Uber user: UBERALBANY20

Existing Uber user: RIDESAFENYE518

Martin, Harding and Mazzotti: 1-800-LAW-1010

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