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Funding Gap Puts Sober Ride Program In Jeopardy

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By Jonathan Wilson

Sober Ride, the D.C. area's free cab service to prevent drunk driving, may not be available on the weekend of July 4th without some new corporate funding.

In the past year, Sober Ride has seen a 60 percent increase in riders and a 35 percent decrease in corporate support, leaving it with a $31,000 funding gap.

Kurt Erickson is president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the charitable organization which runs Sober Ride. He says Sober Ride, which requires about $70,000 in funding each year, is a big part of why the D.C. area ranks well below the national average for alcohol related traffic deaths.

"The program works, it's just a matter of making sure that we maintain funding, especially on a holiday where it's needed, like Independence Day," he says.

The Sober Ride program includes a free 800 number and free cab rides up to $50 dollars. Since 1993 it's removed more than 48,000 would-be drunk drivers from local roads.

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