Sober rides to be offered New Year’s Eve - WKRN News 2

Sober rides to be offered New Year’s Eve

Posted: Updated: Dec 31, 2010 3:51 PM CST

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Thousands of people will flood the streets of Nashville for New Year's Eve celebrations Friday night.

Nashvillians and out of town visitors will be in downtown Nashville for the second annual Bash on Broadway, which features entertainment, fireworks and a guitar drop.

Others will be in the downtown area for the much anticipated grand re-opening of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.  Friday night marks the symphony's first event since the May flood.

The sheriff's office wants to make sure everyone participating in New Year's celebrations gets home safely, so for the 27th year they are offering the free sober ride program.

Volunteers will give anyone who asks a free ride home New Year's Eve.

Karla Weikal with the Davidson County Sheriff's Office said the program has been successful in the past.

 "Last year we did around 1,200 rides and this year we have no reason to believe it won't be that many, if not more," Weikal said. "Of course, the weather will have an impact. It is all sheriff's office volunteers, no questions asked."

There will be three pickup location- 5th Avenue and Broadway, 2nd Avenue and Commerce Street and at the Music City Star train depot under the Shelby Street walking bridge.

From downtown, people will be taken by bus to LP Field, placed in smaller vehicles and then taken to their destination.

"Take advantage of it," Weikal said. "There is never excuse for drinking and driving but especially when you have a free ride right here."

Weikal said it is a Nashville tradition to offer this program.

"People come here and they know they can call Sober Ride," she said. "For 27 years we've been giving these rides. Everyone knows that it is easy and we also want to say we do get busy after midnight. If you call and the number is busy or you're having to hold for a while, just also understand, call a cab, call a sober friend. But we just want to you get home safely. And the only way to do that when you have had too much to drink is make sure that you have a sober ride."

Sober Rides will be offered from 10 p.m. on Friday night through 2 a.m. on Saturday.

Drivers will only take people home or to a hotel, not to another party or bar.

No reservations are allowed.

Those in need of the service can call 615-862-RIDE (7433) or 615-862-7433.

Sober Ride officials suggests placing the number into cell phones before going out on New Year's Eve as the word "RIDE" does not correspond with 7433 on Blackberry's and cell phones with full size keyboards.

Clarksville is also offering free sober rides for New Year's Eve celebrators through Operation Safe Ride.

The Clarksville Transit System service will be available from 11 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday and is only available within Clarksville city limits.

Those in need of a ride should call 931-553-2429.

Partygoers can also take advantage of Auto Pilot, which is company that transports people in need of a ride to and/or from medical procedures by day, but turns into a full-time designated driver service at night and offers anyone in need of a ride home in their own vehicle.

All of the driver's for Auto Pilot are licensed EMTs, CNAs and paramedics.

The company offers the designated driver service every day of the year until 3 a.m.

Auto Pilot charges $20 for the initial pickup and then $2 per mile.

Anyone interested in using the service on New Year's Eve is advised to make a reservation.

For more information or to request a ride, visit CallAutoPilot.com or call 1-877-30-PILOT.

Triple A is offering free rides and towing through their Tow-to-Go program. For more information call 1-800-AAA-HELP.

Sobriety Checkpoints:

Several local police departments will have DUI checkpoints set up New Year's Eve.

In Gallatin, police will be teaming up with the Sumner County Sheriff's Department and the Highway Patrol to conduct checks on Highway 31, Greenlea Boulevard, Long Hollow Pike and Belvedere Drive.

A sobriety checkpoint will also be conducted at Carothers Parkway between Cool Springs Boulevard and Bakers Bridge Avenue in Franklin from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday in conjunction with Operation DUI Blitz.

Checkpoints will also be set up in Clarksville and Mt. Juliet, while officers patrol Rutherford County for intoxicated drivers.

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