Operations

Illinois Operator Offers No-Questions-Asked Ride Home

Posted on December 30, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

ORLAND PARK, Ill. – New Year’s Eve revelers in New Lenox and seven other nearby communities will once again be able to call a special 800 number for a free, no-questions-asked ride home.

The Village of New Lenox, along with the municipalities of Orland Park, Frankfort, Mokena, Orland Hills, Palos Park, Palos Heights and Tinley Park, are sponsoring the Safe Ride Home program from 11:00 p.m. Dec. 31 to 4:00 a.m. Jan. 1.

Partygoers in one of those eight towns who feel they are too impaired to safely drive home can call (800) 244-6200 for a free ride from My Chauffeur Limousine Service.

The Elk Grove-based limousine service will drive any person who lives in one of the participating communities home without asking questions or taking names. Rides will not be given to another party or establishment.

“The holiday season is supposed to be a time for family, friends and festive celebrations, but it is also unfortunately a time when there is a tragic jump in the number of alcohol-related highway fatalities,” New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba said. “That’s why we are out reminding everyone this holiday season that if you are unable to drive to call for a ride.”

This is the sixth year New Lenox has participated in Safe Ride Home and the 15th year of the program. Participating towns are each paying $423 for the service, New Lenox Police Sgt. Lora Del Bianco said. Nearly 175 people used the service last year.

The program received a $2,500 donation from the Michael P. Gordon Foundation. Gordon was a Chicago police officer who was struck in his vehicle when an intoxicated driver ran a red light on Aug. 8, 2004. Gordon and the driver were killed instantly.

“This is a program that I absolutely support and encourage residents to use,” New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann said. “This time of year there is an epidemic of drunk driving and the effect can be devastating. No one should ever drive drunk.”

More information about the Safe Ride Home program is available at www.newlenox.net/police. New Lenox Community Television Channel 6 will also post information about the service, Del Bianco said. Anyone with questions about Safe Ride Home can call the police department at (815) 462-6100.

Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired is simply not worth the risk,” Sterba said. “The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant and not the way you want to spend your holiday season.”

Source: New Lenox Patriot

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