A Little Rock law firm is partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and a local taxi company to ensure people get home safe on New Year’s Eve.
Revelers out between 11 p.m. Monday and 3 a.m. Tuesday can call for fare-free rides home from Little Rock Yellow Cab, said April Cutts, the taxi company’s general manager.
The law firm Rainwater, Holt & Sexton and Mothers Against Drunk Driving partnered to pay for riders' trips throughout the night, according to a news release by the law firm.
To get a free ride, people must call for a Yellow Cab and tell the dispatcher the law firm is paying, the firm said. Pickup locations must be within the city of Little Rock and ride destinations must be a home within 20 miles. The number is (501) 222-2222.
Additionally, rides cannot exceed $40, Cutts said.
According to attorney Mike Rainwater, this is the first year the firm has offered the free-ride service, though they had been thinking about the issue of drinking and driving on holidays for some time.
“We’ve thought about it in prior years and never pulled the trigger, and we just decided it was time,” Rainwater said.
Though Rainwater, Holt & Sexton have offices elsewhere in Arkansas, including Fayetteville, Conway and Hot Springs, Little Rock is the only location offering free rides this New Year’s Eve, according to the firm.
“We decided we would start with this idea here in Little Rock and see where it goes,” Rainwater said
The attorney said his firm, which deals with various types of injuries, often sees the aftermath of drinking and driving and sought to prevent such accidents before they happen.
For Rainwater, one drink is too many to be behind the wheel.
“This isn’t really about drunk driving,” he said. “It’s about drinking and driving. If you’ve been drinking on New Year’s Eve, you don’t need to be driving.”
The holiday season typically sees an increase in crashes and injuries, said Yolanda Holmes, state manager for MADD, which partnered with the firm for the ride service. Holmes said the free-ride program ensures people enjoying New Year’s Eve have a safe alternative for getting home.
“It can save their lives as well as someone else's," Holmes said. “Because who wants to go and see their very important person in the Department of Correction or having to go to the cemetery plot to speak to them and say, ‘Why didn’t you call me? I would have came and picked you up.’”