St. Bernard, Jefferson parishes offer free rides home to curb drunk driving this holiday season

sobriety checkpoint

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – If you or someone you know has had too much to drink during the holidays, deputies in Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes want you to know that they’re ready to make sure you get home safely.

Both sheriff’s offices have a Holiday Safe Ride Home program that guarantees a free ride.

In Jefferson Parish, anyone who believes they or someone they know has had too much to drink is asked to call 911, and a taxi will be called to pick you up. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office will reimburse taxi companies, but only if the call is dispatched through the 911 Center. You can only be picked up and dropped off in Jefferson Parish.

The safe ride home program in Jefferson Parish begins at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and lasts through midnight New Year’s Day.

In St. Bernard Parish, the safe ride home program began on Thanksgiving. So far, 10 people have taken advantage, the sheriff’s office said.

St. Bernard Parish’s program is the oldest of its kind in the New Orleans area. They’ve been offering free rides home for 32 years.

“I urge anyone who has been drinking to call us and let us bring them home rather than trying to drive yourself,” Sheriff James Pohlmann said. “We don’t want you to injure yourself or anyone you may hit while driving drunk. And we don’t want to have to arrest you for DWI but we have patrols looking for impaired drivers and you will be taken to jail if you are stopped and are over the legal limit. So don’t consider driving drunk. Just call us and arrive home safely.”

If you live in St. Bernard Parish, you’ll be taken straight home. If your home is outside of St. Bernard Parish, you’ll be taken to the sheriff’s office to arrange a ride to the parish where you live.