No excuse to drive drunk:
Ketchikan's Fourth of July celebration just got safer
June 29, 2007
Ketchikan, Alaska - As Ketchikan residents celebrate their freedom
this Independence Day, local bars will be doing their part to
keep the streets free of drunk drivers.
A program sponsored by Ketchikan Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and
Retailers Association (Ketchikan CHARR), Alaska CHARR, Alaska
Highway Safety Office and dozens of members of the Ketchikan
hospitality industry is providing a free, safe and sober ride
home from Ketchikan bars this Fourth of July.
Ketchikan CHARR is distributing 300 vouchers to area bars for
free cab rides on the Fourth of July. Patrons can request the
vouchers from the bartender or waiter and enjoy a worry-free
It is the first time Ketchikan CHARR and its co-sponsors have
offered free cab rides for Independence Day. The demonstrated
success of the program on New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day,
as well as grant funding through the Alaska Highway Safety Office,
have made it possible to expand the program to more holidays.
"It is our goal to do whatever we can to make sure there
are no drunk-driving incidents for the Fourth," said Donna
Luther, owner of the Sourdough Bar and dedicated Ketchikan CHARR
member. "With a free ride home, there is absolutely no excuse
for driving when you've been drinking. It feels good to be able
to provide this service."
Alaska CHARR is a statewide, membership-based advocacy group
representing beverage alcohol retailers. Its eight statewide
affiliates in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau/Lynn Canal, Kodiak,
the Kenai Peninsula, Ketchikan, Sitka and Nome have developed
Safe Ride programs at varying levels to great success.
Ketchikan CHARR has been offering free cab rides on New Year's
Eve for the past 24 years. Over the past 23 years, there hasn't
been a single DUI arrest of someone who was drinking at a bar
on New Year's Eve.
"This is a fantastic program that has been serving people
across Alaska for years, and we're proud of its success,"
said Dale Fox president and CEO of Alaska CHARR.
"It's great to have the support of the Alaska Highway Safety
Office to help us expand the program as much as possible,"
Fox continued. "Ideally, we'd like to see a zero DUI rate
from bar and restaurant patrons, particularly on holidays associated
with higher rates of DUI."
Alaska CHARR was established in 1964 to serve as the voice of
hotels, restaurants and beverage alcohol retailers in Alaska.
The organization represents 550 members statewide by providing
member-benefit programs, industry advocacy, government relations,
server training programs and public awareness campaigns addressing
responsible consumption of beverage alcohol.
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