New NDDOT program provides a solution to driving impaired

SPECIAL TO DEVILS LAKE  JOURNAL

DEVILS LAKE -  Vision Zero partners from the Office of the Governor, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the North Dakota Highway Patrol (NDHP) announced ND Sober Ride – a program aimed at reducing the number of impaired drivers on North Dakota roadways through ride-hailing vouchers.

The launch of ND Sober Ride coincides with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign that’s currently taking place until March 31.

“Arrests and deaths from driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol are 100% preventable. This program is a technology-based solution and alternative to driving impaired,” said Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. “Beginning today, until funds are spent, Lyft users who want a ride between the hours of 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. each day can use a code to get $10 off their ride.”

“We’re focusing on making ride codes available throughout the year during holidays and events where someone may overindulge,” explains NDDOT Director Bill Panos. “We’re grateful for our first ride sponsor, AAA – The Auto Club Group, who provided the funds to make codes possible during this month to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

“The goal of the program is to encourage all road users to use a ride-hailing or taxi services to travel if they are impaired rather than put themselves and others on the road at risk,” said Sgt. Wade Kadrmas of the NDHP. “Driving is a privilege that involves taking personal responsibility such as always wearing your seat belt, driving distraction-free, obeying the posted speed limit and driving free from impairment through a program like ND Sober Ride.”

ND Sober Ride plans to eventually expand to include smaller communities by utilizing taxi and other transportation services. Lyft codes are unique to each holiday or event and a user may only use a code once per time period. Codes will be advertised through traditional media and on digital and social media channels. Codes are also available on the Vision Zero website. The code for March 2-31 is NDSoberRide.

Initial ride program funding is sponsored by AAA – The Auto Club Group. Companies interested in becoming a part of the solution can sponsor ND Sober Ride by contacting NDDOT Safety Public Information Program Manager, lbjork@nd.gov.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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