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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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home : community : community news June 28, 2016

11/24/2012 7:30:00 AM
Tavern League expands SafeRide program

The success of the Tavern League of Wisconsin's SafeRide program continues to grow. For the year ending June 30, ridership increased 10 percent over the previous year.

The life-saving SafeRide program offers free rides home to patrons at participating Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW) establishments. Last year the SafeRide program provided nearly 75,000 free rides to impaired patrons who feel receiving a ride home is a good idea.

The TLW SafeRide program began in 1985 and has received both state and federal funding since 1999. The program has received national recognition from the National Conference of Mayors for its effort to reduce alcohol related crashes and fatalities and is the largest SafeRide home program in the country. The TLW works with the state Department of Transportation to administer the program which provides free transportation home from a participating TLW member establishment to those who request it.

In addition to funding from local TLW members, the SafeRide program receives state funding through a surcharge on all OWI convictions in Wisconsin. Last year, the 55 local leagues participating in the SafeRide Program provided the rides home at a cost of nearly $830,000.

"Our local members work hard to establish, fund and administer the program. It is not safe to drive while impaired and the statewide utilization of the SafeRide program has proven to be an effective tool to help combat drunk driving," TLW Executive Director Pete Madland said.

"We have seen a dramatic increase in the use of the TLW SafeRide program. In the last ten years we have expanded the footprint from a few counties to nearly the entire state of Wisconsin," Madland said. "The use of SafeRide has increased every year as more TLW member establishments participate. We spend a lot of time and resources educating the public about our SafeRide program and the data we have seen indicate they are listening and choosing a SafeRide home."

To utilize the program, a patron can simply request a SafeRide voucher from any participating TLW member and they will be given a free ride home - no questions asked. Last year over 1,700 TLW members participated in the SafeRide program.

For more information on SafeRide, visit and click on the SafeRide link.

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