The holiday season is a time for generosity, cheer and festivities for all. Unfortunately, in a flash it can turn into a time of tragedy as well, and all it may take is a single poor decision.
While those who drink and drive while attending parties during the holidays may meet the flashing lights of a police car and the consequences of a DWI arrest, that doesn’t represent the worst potential outcome. The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office is well aware of that, and in the philosophy of “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure,” it is once again offering parish residents free rides home this holiday season.
If one attends a party in St. Charles Parish and have had alcohol, he or she may call (985) 783-6807 and a deputy will arrive to provide a ride home at no charge.
Capt. Pat Yoes, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said he hopes citizens will take advantage of the service, because the risk of driving drunk is simply never worth it.
“We have seen too many holidays end in tragedy that could have been avoided,” said Yoes, a veteran officer who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1984. “This holiday season, there are no excuses. We prefer bringing people home when impaired rather than making notification to their next of kin.”
Yoes said the service will be offered until New Year’s Day, day and night. Though an instance is more likely to occur at night, Yoes said you just never know.
“Our intentions were to address the concerns of drinking and driving while attending holiday parties,” Yoes said. “I would like to think people wouldn’t be overserved by 10 a.m., but I guess it is possible. The offer stands. We don’t want impaired drivers behind the wheel.”
The offer does not stand, however, if someone has already hit the road and been pulled over by police or is involved in an accident — it is not a literal “Get out of jail free” card to play.
That circumstance would still involve a ride — straight to jail. And the service gives people one less reason to put themselves in line for that, or worse.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Holiday Ride program
- Anyone attending a party in St. Charles Parish who has had alcohol may call (985) 783-6807 and a deputy will arrive to provide a ride home
- Service is free of charge
- Program available until New Year’s Day