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Since the beginning of the year, Redding police have arrested 212 individuals for driving under the influence.
Now, a new organization in Redding is hoping to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the roads this holiday weekend by offering free rides to anyone who's had a little too much to drink.
The Drunk Driving Prevention Program, or DDPP, began on military bases across the country as a way to help soldiers get home safely if they'd been drinking.
Now the organization's president Brandon Wegner is hoping to duplicate the program's success in Redding with its first civilian chapter launching this weekend.
"With the holiday weekend obviously a lot of people are going to be drinking," Wegner said. "So we thought it'd be a good launch date to try and curb the amount of DUI's."
The service is free and operates entirely on volunteers.
Users sign a waiver ahead of time if they think they might need to use the service.
Co-owner of Shameless O'leery's Kenny Breedlove said he supports any service that helps make sure his patrons get home safely.
"I mean, to have a volunteer organization that cares enough to get out there and give people rides home if they've had too much to drink...you know, as bar owners, we do the best we can and our staff to not over-serve anybody," Breedlove said. "But we all know, at 0.08 that's pretty easy to get to."
Wegner has taken to social media to recruit volunteers, but he said they'll need a lot more help in order to be effective.
"So we desperately need volunteers not just to drive," he said. "We also need people to volunteer to help manage the chapter, and shift managers to do the safety briefs for new volunteers, dispatchers. We need volunteers for all the different things."
He said the organization has provided thousands of rides over the years and there's no way to count how many lives they may have saved.
"Actually 1 and 3 traffic related fatalities involves a drunk driver so drunk driving is very serious," Wegner said. "And we just want to do whatever we can to try and prevent people from driving intoxicated."
The DDPP will be hosting a fundraiser Nov 5 at Lulu's restaurant in Redding to help purchase breathalyzers and safety equipment.
If you need a ride home this weekend, you can call DDPP at 633-7757 and they'll pick you up free of charge.
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