While revelers go out to ring in the new year, a program is there year round to make sure patrons get home safely.
Aaron Schultz is the vice-president of the Oneida County Tavern League and coordinates the Safe Ride Home Program...
"....it is no cost to the patron and it is funded by the Oneida County Tavern League through our fundraising efforts and money from the state....if your establishment is a member of the Oneida County Tavern League, you're able to offer this service to your customers...."
A patron asks for a ticket and a free ride home is provided. Schultz says it has been used...
"....we serve around 350 people per month, and we spend around $22,000 a year on this program...."
Statewide, Tavern League of Wisconsin figures show 75,000 rides were given in the last year from 66 Safe Ride Programs in the state. Besides local fundraisers, money to provide free rides comes from court assessments in D.U.I. cases. About $800,000 is spent each year.
Oneida county was one of the early partipants in the program that has been used as a model for other states.