By Kelsey Nevius
As spring approaches, the weather grows warmer and things just seem to get brighter as a whole. Though the winter months held holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, we now move on to warmer holidays like Easter and Saint Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick’s Day, which was originally a Christian day of observance honoring Saint Patrick who preached Christianity and died a martyr in Ireland, is now seen as a holiday where you wear green, and let’s face it, where those who are 21 and over go out to bars and pubs across the nation. Saint Patrick’s Day is seen as the day where Americans go out and have a good time, usually involving alcohol. According to USA Today, “On a typical day, Americans drink about 600,000 pints of the Dublin-based beer. But on St. Patrick’s Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed.” This exceptionally large amount of alcohol consumption causes a problem though. How will people out celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day return safely to their homes?
Lucky for us in Hancock County, there is a solution to this problem. Those who are out celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at bars or pubs can call a service, “Safe Ride Home,” to come and pick them up from the bar and drive them safely home. This service is completely free, and it is a one-way transportation service that is completely dedicated to delivering intoxicated drivers home safely. “Safe Ride Home” will even, when asked, tow the intoxicated driver’s car for no charge to a location of their choosing.
The service, running from the weekend before Saint Patrick’s Day and continuing through Wednesday the 18th, have “transported a total of 2,033 people home safely during the holidays” as well as “escorted 89 people home safely during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration” according to Eric Schaadt of The Courier. “Safe Ride Home” even has their own app entitled “Iridehome” that calls the company as well. Not only do they have this service present for Saint Patrick’s Day, but for all holidays as well. According to Mike Cortez, the “Safe Ride Home” President, on New Year’s Eve alone this year they delivered 168 intoxicated drivers home safely using the service. The great thing about this is that it is unique to the Hancock County and Findlay area.
Though I will not be out at bars or pubs on Saint Patrick’s Day, I think this is a wonderful idea. It is refreshing to see someone taking charge of a serious problem, and drunk driving is most definitely a serious problem. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, “32,719 people died in traffic crashes in 2013 in the United States, including an estimated 10,076 people who died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 31 percent of all traffic deaths that year.” This service is a safer and better alternative for people who will be out celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, and it is absolutely free. If that isn’t enough to convince people who will be out, they will not only return you home safely, but they will tow your car for free as well.
“Safe Ride Home” has not only prevented possible traffic crashes and collisions, but prevented possible damage and even death. I see no reason why anyone wouldn’t use this service. Drunk driving has claimed a lot of lives, and if something as simple as calling a number to return you back home is the way to combat lives lost to drunk driving, I hope the service continues to grow and I hope everyone going out in Findlay for Saint Patrick’s Day will take advantage of it.