Woodstock police offer rides home on New Year's Eve - CBS46 News

Woodstock police offer rides home on New Year's Eve

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For the sixth year, Woodstock police will offer rides home to those who have had too much to drink on New Year's Eve.

"We'll be out there with zero tolerance underway arresting drunk drivers," said Chief Calving Moss. "But this is a problem-solving approach that expands our focus. It's very well received by the public."

The program is called Operation Safe Ride. Since it started, police have helped more than 300 people get home safely.

"We understand that if they do overindulge, they're going to go in their car and we don't want them to do that," said Tia Greene, who does public relations for Ice Martini Bar in downtown Woodstock. "We've partnered up with Woodstock's police department to make sure everything's OK."

Police also have the help of Neese's Towing, a family-owned business that will tow a person's vehicle home for free.

"If they don't feel comfortable leaving their car at the bar, then they'll call us," said President Stacey Neese. "We'll go pick it up, and we'll carry it safely to their home so nobody gets hurt. Nobody's losing money, and they don't even have to pay for a cab."

Moss said the department will add two officers on New Year's Eve so it will not take anyone off their regular beat.

"Our goal for the New Year's Eve holiday is zero fatalities," said Moss.

Those involved with the program said it is a win-win for everyone.

"You sleep a whole lot better," said Neese, who plans to have at least a half dozen drivers on the road Tuesday night. "It means the 911 phone I got is not going to ring, and there won't be a fatality. That means everything." 

Rides will be available from 9 p.m. Tuesday until 3 a.m. New Year's Day. Police require those who call to be Woodstock residents who do not have money to call a cab.

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