MEDFORD, Ore. — Traditionally, New Year's Eve is the type of holiday where many people indulge in a fair volume of spirits. Yet, even if the drinking is generally accepted, driving afterward is another story. One local cab company is trying to help keep people from behind the wheel on New Year's Eve.
"We’re just trying to get everybody home safe for the New Year, and I think that’s about one of the best ways we can help people out . . . is to give them a free ride home," said Jeff Rutherford, co-owner of 5 Star Taxi in Medford.
After midnight on New Year's Eve when celebrations are beginning to wind down, 5 Star Taxi will be offering free rides to anyone trying to get home in Southern Oregon.
"We’re pretty much operational everywhere," said Rutherford. "We actually have our own app . . . and you can make your own time calls in advance, or you can call our dispatch 24/7. Were open all the time."
Multiple law enforcement agencies in the area have promised to be out in force for the holiday season, with several using grant funding to have extra patrols on the street.
"We urge all who choose to consume alcohol this holiday season to do so with a plan," the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said earlier this month.
According to statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 885 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver during the month of December 2017 in the US. During the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods alone, there were 267 drunk driving-related fatalities — more than during any other holiday period that year.
NewsWatch 12 reached out to rideshare company Uber to see if there were any special offers for the holiday but did not receive a response at the time of this article's publishing.