Local News

Business offers ‘Safe Ride Home’ to prevent DWIs

Posted May 31, 2008 8:54 p.m. EDT
Updated May 31, 2008 10:37 p.m. EDT

— Ted Johnson and John Herath never lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, but they feel their calling is to help cut down the number of DWIs in the Triangle.

“This was a company that was formed out of responsibility and not tragedy,” Johnson said Saturday.

The two run the company, Safe Ride Home, which serves as a sort of taxi service for drivers that have had too much to drink.

Johnson said the program, which started in March, is unique, in that they drive the person home using the person’s vehicle.

“They don’t want to take a cab back and have the extra expense of taking a cab back to get their car in the morning or hassle their friends to give them a ride,” Herath said.

Customers pay for the service, with a 10-mile ride costing about $30.

Currently eight drivers operate in Raleigh and Cary. Johnson and Herath said they are looking to branch into other areas.

Customers say they'd much rather see Safe Ride Home than a police car in their rear view mirror.

“The alternative is either drive drunk or get a taxi cab and then deal with this in the morning,” customer David Kuzdrall said.

The Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said checkpoints are held once every couple months.

In little more than a month’s time late last year, there were more than 4,000 DWI arrests statewide at sobriety checkpoints.

“We hope that we can put a dent in it. And honestly, if we’re able to prevent one every weekend, then we’re doing something positive in the community,” Johnson said.