Evesham Township in New Jersey was set to reach 250 drunk driving arrests in 2015, a record for itself. The town is attempting to avoid hitting the record with an audacious partnership with the ride-sharing app, Uber.
“We’re dealing with people who might’ve had too much to drink, so we needed to make it so easy for them to open their iPhone and push a button,” Evesham Mayor Randy Brown said.
With the help of donations from nonprofits and businesses, the township, whose population is a 45,000, is offering to cover the costs of an Uber for patrons of the town’s 19 bars and restaurants between the hours of 9pm and 2am.
The township also partnered with the app BeMyDD. BeMyDD provides drivers who will drive your vehicle home for you if you’ve taken an Uber home and left your vehicle somewhere.
Evesham Township ran a pilot program in September that offered free shuttle rides to would-be drunk drivers. The service reduced the township’s DUI arrests by 65 percent.
While a program like this may not work in larger cities such as Los Angeles, Evesham Township sets an example of a municipality actually taking proactive steps to curb drunk driving rather than just legislating for harsher DUI punishments.