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Sober ride program kicks off this weekend in Brainerd

The program officially launched Friday to offer a no-questions-asked ride from Brainerd to a residence or hotel within 20 miles.

Sober ride posters
Contributed / Brainerd Lakes TZD

BRAINERD โ€” Spent all your money on beer but still need a safe ride home after a night out in Brainerd? That's now possible with the launching of Brainerd Lakes Towards Zero Deaths' new Better Bar Safe Ride program.

The program officially launched Friday, July 29, with eight Brainerd establishments signing onto the program from the start, Baxter Assistant Chief Matt Maier said.

Sober ride posters
Contributed / Brainerd Lakes TZD

โ€œBrainerd Lakes TZD is excited to see the safe ride program kick off today,โ€ Maier said. โ€œIt has been in the works for some time and to see our community come together to make this happen is amazing.โ€

The program offers free rides from establishments in Brainerd to a residence or hotel within 20 miles โ€” no questions asked.

Participating Brainerd establishments are Shep's on 6th, Last Turn Saloon, The Parlor, Brainerd VFW Post 1647, The Pit Stop, 5 Rocks Distilling Co., CC's Bar and 9th Street Social Club.

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Maier said they have not made it to all the establishments in Brainerd yet, but he is hopeful they will have more establishments sign up to work with the program in the near future.

โ€œIf a Safe Ride prevents one impaired driver from getting into their vehicle and trying to drive, then the Safe Ride has worked,โ€ Maier said. โ€œWith support from Brainerd Community Action and collaboration amongst our local participating businesses, I believe that the Safe Ride program will succeed, and our hope is to be able to expand into the city of Baxter and nearby surrounding areas in the future.โ€

As the program is in its pilot phase , Maier expects a few bumps along the way as they work on fine-tuning the program to the area.

Brainerd Lakes TZD, Brainerd Taxi and Brainerd Community Action have partnered together to bring the program to the community.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email tim.speier@brainerddispatch.com .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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