Coburg Police offer free rides home on New Year's Eve

If you find yourself too intoxicated to drive home on New Year's Eve, Coburg Police will help you get home safe.

Posted: Dec. 27, 2017 5:43 PM
Updated: Dec. 27, 2017 5:56 PM

COBURG, Ore. - Coburg Police will be offering free rides home on New Year's Eve for those who are too drunk to drive.

Chief Larry Larson said the idea was inspired by his mother.

"My mom was killed by an intoxicated driver in December 2013 and I just thought, 'There's got to be a way to help shield somebody or a family from going through that kind of pain,'" said Chief Larson.

He said he did some research online and found other police departments and tow companies across the country doing the same thing.

"If it takes an officer anywhere around 20 minutes to drive somebody to their home, it would be worth it instead of having a DUI crash. It takes several hours to investigate a crash or even more if it's a fatality," said Chief Larson.

He said the City of Coburg has an average of 30 DUII arrests a year, with no fatalities so far in 2017.

Coburg Police started the program in 2016, but no one took them up on their offer last year. They posted on Facebook that they would be doing the same thing this year and it's been shared nearly 1,500 times.

"I am a little bit nervous. I'm having all of our police officers come out to work. If I need to, I'll buy some cab rides...anything to try and get those people home safe," said Chief Larson.

He said he's been asked if people outside of Coburg city limits could call for a ride.

"If it's anyone in Eugene or Springfield area and we're not backed up on calls or other rides, we'll be glad to give them a ride," said Chief Larson.

Larson said they may use some of the funds from their CHETT program to pay for cab rides, if needed.

Coburg Police could be reached on New Year's Eve via Junction City dispatch at 541-998-1245. They will be offering free rides from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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