Don’t drink and drive on New Year’s Eve, ride safe for free

Don’t drink and drive on New Year’s Eve, ride safe for free

Why start the new year off with a DUI?

Why start the new year off with a DUI?

The Juneau-Lynn Canal Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association (CHARR) is sponsoring its annual New Year’s Eve Safe Ride Home program, where taxis with flashing green lights will provide free rides home from downtown bars, as well as a number of locations in Douglas and the Mendenhall Valley.

“We want to make sure our community is safe and that people can have fun,” said Leeann Thomas, owner of the Triangle Club Bar and member of CHARR. “We try to get as many cabs on the road as we can.”

The program, which has existed in Juneau since 2005, is modeled on a number of similar programs in Ketchikan, Kodiak and Anchorage, which Thomas said have enjoyed a lot of success.

“Every year’s a little different,” Thomas said. “We’ve given over 12,000 rides home.”

Money is raised by donations from the bars participating in the program and from dues, pull tab sales and donations from brewers and alcohol importers, Thomas said. The cab drivers are paid their hourly rates plus a bonus, Thomas said. Thomas also encouraged riders to tip their drivers for the tough job they’re doing.

“We know it’s a hard job. Please be patient with the free cabs because it’s free,” Thomas said. “We want you to go to those bars and call from those bars. The green flashing lights means the cab is free, and we really want to get everybody home.”

Thomas felt that the rides have cut down on the rate of DUIs on New Year’s Eve. Juneau Police Department did not respond to phone calls to confirm this.

“We slowly add on cabs until a little after midnight, and we go till a little after 3. We want people to get out and get in line by 3,” Thomas said. The rides run from 9 p.m. until about 3 a.m.

More in News

This photo shows the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table at a pop up vaccinations site the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer)
CDC freeze on Johnson and Johnson vaccine sets clinics scrambling

The odds of being affected are vanishingly rare, but CDC says better safe than sorry.

This photo shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident. On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Ohio that tried to get the U.S. Census Bureau to provide data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts ahead of its planned release. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)
Alaska joins 15 other states in backing Alabama’s challenge to Census privacy tool

The case could go directly to the Supreme Court if appealed.

Has it always been a police car? (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Tuesday, April 13, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

After over 30 years at 3100 Channel Drive, the Juneau Empire offices are on the move. (Ben Hohenstatt /Juneau Empire File)
The Juneau Empire is on the move

Advertising and editorial staff are moving to Jordan Creek Center.

This photo shows the National Archives in the Sand Point neighborhood of Seattle that has about a million boxes of generally unique, original source documents and public records. In an announcement made Thursday, April 8, 2021, the Biden administration has halted the sale of the federal archives building in Seattle, following months of opposition from people across the Pacific Northwest and a lawsuit by the Washington Attorney General's Office. Among the records at the center are tribal, military, land, court, tax and census documents. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)
Biden halts sale of National Archives center in Seattle

Tribes and members of Congress pushed for the halt.

This photo shows Unangax̂ Gravesite at Funter Bay, the site where Aleut villagers forcibly relocated to the area during World War II are buried. A bill recently passed by the Alaska House of Representatives would make the area part of a neighboring state park. (Courtesy photo / Niko Sanguinetti, Juneau-Douglas City Museum) 
Bill to preserve Unangax̂ Gravesite passes House

Bill now heads to the state Senate.

The state announced this week that studded tires will be allowed for longer than usual. In Southeast Alaska, studded tires will be allowed until May 1 instead of April 15. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
State extends studded tire deadline

Prolonged wintry weather triggers the change.

COVID at a glance for Monday, April 12

The most recent state and local numbers.

Has it always been a police car. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire)
Police calls for Sunday, April 11, 2021

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read