Washington Township reinstates free Uber rides to prevent drinking and driving

A Gloucester County town is hoping to prevent drinking and driving by bringing back a program that was used before the pandemic.
Mayor Joann Gattinelli and Washington Township police want residents to enjoy themselves safely, so they are reinstating "Washington Township Saves Lives."
The program provides free Uber rides to people after a night out.
"Go out, have a great time and be responsible but know at the end of the evening you do not have to go into your vehicle. There is a choice for you," says Gattinelli.
Anyone leaving a bar or restaurant in Washington Township and heading to a home in the same area will be able to schedule an Uber for free.
"You can get into an accident, you can hurt somebody, you can hurt yourself," says resident Paula Massanova. "It's a great idea, and I think a lot of people these days are more conscious than they used to be."
Curtis Bates, the manager of Otts, says the program is a no-brainer. Bates says his servers inform patrons when they hand them a check that a free Uber is available to them.
The township first introduced the program in 2018. From 2018 to 2019, it saw a 12% drop in DWI arrests. Officials are hoping to see another decline.
"We still have our police out there enforcing - but to find out that we were able to, to reduce the DWI arrests in Washington Township made us feel really good about being able to put a program like this together in town," says Gattinelli.
The free Uber rides are available from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weeknights and until 2 a.m. on weekends.