Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Free or Reduced-Fare Rides Available for Blackout Wednesday

(Drive Safe Hampton Roads)

HAMPTON ROADS — Drive Safe Hampton Roads is once again teaming up with Lyft’s ride-share app to offer safe rides home on Thanksgiving Eve.

The night before Thanksgiving, many gather in their hometowns and celebrate the official start of the festive season. Known as “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving,” there is also an increase in the overconsumption of alcohol, according to Drive Safe Hampton Roads (DSHR).

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest, with more drivers on the roads than usual, increasing the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash, DSHR said. Over the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday, there were 450 crashes across Hampton Roads, with nine alcohol-related crashes on Blackout Wednesday, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

“It is critical that anyone heading out to a bar or party take precaution and plan for a sober driver to see them home safely,” said Jonathan Turner, 757 Sober Ride Chairperson.  “Unfortunately, the Thanksgiving Eve celebration has become a particularly dangerous night on the roads. We want drivers to take this night seriously. Driving drunk is deadly, and no one should ever take that risk.”

Free or reduced fare rides are being offered to alcohol-impaired drivers throughout Hampton Roads on Blackout Wednesday, with DSHR sponsoring 757 Sober Ride from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22 until 4 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23.

During that thirty-six-hour period, area residents age 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may download the Lyft app to their phones, then enter the 757 Sober Ride code in the app’s “Payment” tab under the “Add Lyft Pass” option to receive no-cost, up to $15, safe transportation home.

DSHR’s 2023 Blackout Wednesday 757 Sober Ride promo code will be posted at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at DriveSafeHR.org/757-sober-ride. It can only be used during that period for rides originating from or having a destination within Hampton Roads. It is subject to Lyft’s terms of service, and valid while supplies last. The six-hour usage window begins when the rider enters the code in the app.

DSHR cautions a 757 Sober Rides cannot be reserved and pickups cannot be scheduled in advance.

Sponsors of DSHR’s 2023-24 757 Sober Ride campaign include the Christopher King Foundation and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

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