Sheriff's office employees prep for New Year's Eve Sober Ride

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 10:05pm
Staff reports


As thousands of corks are prepped for popping, law enforcement authorities are planning for one of the busiest times of the year for drinking and driving.

Expecting a large turnout for the Broadway Bash downtown Friday night, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office will roll out its Sober Ride program for a 27th year. Almost 150 employees from the sheriff’s office volunteer to work the program, serving to drive, answer phones, arrange pick-ups and dispatch drivers.

This year, the program will include two new Sober Ride “bus stop” locations at the Music City Star train station on First Avenue under the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge and at Fifth Avenue and Broadway.

There will also be a Sober Ride bus stop at Second Avenue and Commerce Street. Buses will pick passengers up at these locations and transport them to LP Field where smaller vehicles will take them to their destinations.

Those who aren’t downtown and wish to use Sober Ride can call 615-862-RIDE (7433). The program serves Davidson County starting at 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve and ending at 2 a.m. New Year’s Day. Drivers will take passengers only to their home or hotel. No reservations are allowed.

Law enforcement agencies in Williamson County (including Franklin and Brentwood police and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office) are expected to team up with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for “Operation DUI Blitz,” which will run from 4 p.m. Dec. 31 through 4 a.m. Jan. 1.

While Metro police’s DUI unit will be out on the streets for its regular weekend enforcement this New Year’s holiday, a smaller grant to Metro from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office means no additional officers will be assigned to extra duty DUI enforcement.

There were no extra duty DUI officers funded by the grant on patrol during last weekend's Christmas festivities. The city's grant for the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, saw funding cut by nearly 60 percent after the GHSO was forced to redistribute funding.

Over the New Year’s holiday last year, from 6 p.m. Dec. 31, 2009, to 11:59 Jan. 3, 2010, Metro officers arrested 58 people on DUI charges.



3 Comments on this post:

By: cval on 12/30/10 at 8:54

When will people learn that New Year's Eve is not about drinking? It's all about the midnight kiss.

By: iTiSi on 12/30/10 at 11:45

Wonder how long it's going to be before someone sues the DC Sheriffs' Dept and the others giving rides, and enabling drunks. A study by Boston University not long ago shows the number of domestic abuse cases rises sharply in the first few hours after drinking. So, rather than carry them to jail to sober up, they are transporting them home to beat their wives, and maybe children. I'm surprised MADD and those organizations who treat and house abused families are not all over this one. Talk about hypocrisy!

By: travisthedrummer on 12/31/10 at 12:44

Hey iTiSi, here's a little known fact. Every single person in the world that drinks is a raging homicidal manic. And did you know, that only males beat people? There has NEVER EVER EVER been a recorded case of a women getting drunk and beating a man.... EVER.

Here's the reality of the situation. Every year, I go out there in my suburban, and give people rides home. If they show signs of aggression, I call my supervisor, who is a uniformed officer. People don't just blindly support the "drunks" as you so quaintly put it. No, in fact, we're saving lives.

And that study I'm sure used "normal" people, right? You know. The ones that have bi-polar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and manic depression?