Sober rides aim to keep NYE partygoers off roadways, safe - WKRN News 2

Sober rides aim to keep NYE partygoers off roadways, safe

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This year's Bash on Broadway will feature a 15-foot music note that will drop more than 100 feet to ring in 2012. This year's Bash on Broadway will feature a 15-foot music note that will drop more than 100 feet to ring in 2012.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Programs like the Davidson County Sheriff's Office's Sober Ride and AAA's Tow to Go will make it easy for partygoers at the annual Bash on Broadway to get home safely this New Year's Eve.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, sheriff's office employees will shuttle people from one of two bus stops downtown to a staging area at LP field.  There, passengers will be loaded into smaller vehicles and taken to their final destination.

The bus stops will be located at Fifth Avenue and Broadway and Second Avenue and Church Street.

2011 marks the 28th year for the Sober Ride program in Davidson County.

"It has become a Nashville tradition that we are proud to continue this service," Sheriff Daron Hall said, adding, "I encourage anyone drinking this New Year's Eve to have a sober ride, arrive home safely and stay out of our jail."

Unlike in years past, there is no phone number to call to request a ride home.  Those in need of a ride must go to a bus stop.
 
The service will continue until 2 a.m.  Drivers will only take people home or to a hotel in Davidson County, not to another party or bar.

Last year, nearly 800 people took advantage of the free service.

Revelers can also call AAA at 1-800-AAA-HELP for a free ride home and tow for their vehicle.

The program is also free and 100% confidential but is designed to be a last resort.

How long drivers have to wait for a ride will depend on the availability of tow truck drivers.

The program is available to both AAA auto club members and non-members.

Since it began in the late 1990s, Tow to Go has safely kept more than 16,000 drunk drivers off the roadways.

Extra-duty DUI patrols

In Nashville on Friday night, 16 extra duty Metro police officers will be on the road looking specifically drunk drivers.  The number will increase to 19 officers on New Year's Eve.

The officers will concentrate on the downtown area, the interstate near downtown and those areas with high concentrations of bars and nightclubs.

The goal of the additional law enforcement presence is to prevent traffic fatalities, according to police.

So far in 2011, 74 persons have died in collisions in Davidson County, equaling the number of fatalities for all of 2010.

Twenty-one of this year's fatalities occurred on interstates while 53 took place on surface streets.

Victims in 42% of the fatal crashes were not wearing seatbelts, according to police, and 52% have involved alcohol and/or drug impairment.

3rd Annual Bash of Broadway

In its third year, Music City's Bash on Broadway will feature a 15-feet music note that will drop more than 100 feet to ring in 2012 instead of a guitar.

The music note is red in color and weighs more than 1,700 pounds.

City leaders said this year they opted for a music note because wanted to stay true to Nashville's brand but also wanted something unique.

"Hard Rock, in the past, had done a guitar in a couple of other cities, we don't like to copy any other cities, so we wanted to be unique, so we landed on the red music note which is part of our logo," Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.

The city is expecting more than 30,000 to attend the celebration, which gets underway at 7 p.m. on Lower Broadway.

The event is free.  Lynyrd Skynyrd will headline the concert.

Read more at VisitMusicCity.com.

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