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Use ride-share service on July 4th to avoid a DWI

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 40 percent of all highway deaths that occur on July 4th involve intoxicated drivers.

Whether you are planning to attend a small family barbecue or a big blowout this Fourth of July, if alcohol is imbibed, a drunk driving arrest could be in your near future.

It doesn't have to be. For the upcoming festivities, there are alternatives for the ride home when your partying includes consuming alcoholic beverages.

From 7 p.m., on Wednesday, July 4 to 4 a.m., on Thursday, July 5, Lyft is partnering with Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) to offer Prince George's County residents sober rides home.

SoberRide offers free rides to residents and visitors in an effort to prevent needless deaths and injuries from intoxicated motorists on a holiday typically marred by driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests and accidents.

Those who are at least 21 can download the Lyft app to their smartphones and then enter promo codes to access a free ride home — up to $15. Riders will be responsible for charges in excess of the $15 limit.

The coverage area includes the following counties in the Washington, D.C. metro areas:

  • Prince George (Maryland)
  • Montgomery (Maryland)
  • Prince William (Virginia)
  • Fairfax (Virginia)
  • Arlington (Virginia)
  • Loudoun (Virginia)
  • the District of Columbia

The president of WRAP, a local nonprofit, issued a statement reading, in part: "[T]wo-thirds of those killed in drunk driving crashes during the 2016 Independence Day period had BACs of .15 or higher."

This upcoming Fourth of July, take advantage of this free alternative to drunk driving. Should you disregard the advice and wind up arrested for DWI, remember to preserve your rights against self-incrimination in your interactions with police.

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