Sheriff Hall Announces End of Sober Ride Program
Sheriff Daron Hall Announces End to 35-Year Sober Ride Program
Nashville’s New Year’s Eve celebration grows larger than the small scale ride program – volunteer efforts for employees will go to Last Minute Toy Store
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville-Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall announced Wednesday the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) will no longer sponsor the decades-old Sober Ride program. Since 1982, sheriff’s office employee-volunteers provided free, safe, and sober rides home to those partying on New Year’s Eve. Nashville’s “destination city” label and the crowds that come with that moniker have made it increasingly challenging to get to those who need rides.
“It is difficult to make this decision because Sober Ride has been a part of the sheriff’s office and a Nashville tradition for so long; however, I think it’s time to move our volunteer efforts elsewhere,” Hall said. “Program organizers have worked for years to adjust operating methods to meet the ever-increasing New Year’s Eve crowds. Unfortunately, with the availability of ride sharing and other alternatives, the Sober Ride program numbers have continued to dwindle.”
According to Hall, 15 years ago, the program hit its highest ridership ever by taking about 2,000 people home in one night. During the 2017 celebration, just over 200 rides were provided. Employees will now be encouraged to dedicate their time to another worthwhile effort: the Last Minute Toy Store.
“In 2017, we began our partnership with the Last Minute Toy Store and served more than 5,400 children. That’s more kids than have ever been served in the store’s 24-year history,” Hall said. “The toy store will be our agency’s new volunteer effort. Sheriff’s office employees have a heart for service and making sure children have presents to open on Christmas morning is a meaningful project.”
Although DCSO volunteers will no longer provide sober rides, Hall encourages anyone celebrating to always have an alternative plan. That should include a sober friend, taxi, or ride-sharing company.