(Long Branch, N.J.) – Bar and tavern owners throughout New Jersey are launching a major initiative to prevent drunk driving beginning this holiday season.
The New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association (NJLBA) and its members will be teaming up with Uber and the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers to provide safe rides home for thousands of their patrons.
Participating NJLBA bars and taverns throughout the Garden State will offer free soft drinks and other benefits to designated drivers who sign up for membership cards with the non-profit HERO Campaign online or at special HERO Night NJLBA events.
Uber will provide free rides up to $20 for first-time riders who sign up through the NJLBA, and will bolster its efforts to increase the number of drivers available near bars and taverns at peak late night hours
The safe ride partners also intend to conduct a study to determine the program’s impact in reducing DUI incidents statewide and hope to work closely with state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials to gather this data.
“We believe this partnership with Uber and the HERO Campaign is a major step forward in keeping our patrons safe,” said NJLBA President James Bennett of Sea Isle City, owner of La Costa Bar and Liquors and Lobster Loft Restaurant. “We also are committed to helping the HERO Campaign prevent drunk driving in John Elliott’s memory.”
“Our goal is to end drunk driving by making the use of safe and sober designated drivers be as automatic as wearing a seatbelt,” noted HERO Campaign Chairman Bill Elliott, John Elliott’s father. “The licensed beverage association and Uber are helping us make that goal a reality.”
Close to 1,300 Uber driver-partners have signed up with the HERO Campaign and have provided more than 30,000 rides to bar patrons around the state since October.
“This partnership is about creating an environment that allows people in New Jersey to celebrate responsibly with the knowledge that they can always get a safe ride and a designated driver at the tap of a button,” said Ana Mahony, General Manager for Uber New Jersey, “Uber is proud to be working with the HERO Campaign and NJLBA to keep drunk drivers off the road this holiday season.”
Nov. 23, 2015
About the HERO Campaign
The New Jersey-based HERO Campaign is currently looking for 100,000 designated drivers to take the HERO pledge as part of its mission to prevent drunk driving in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and in states from Massachusetts to Kentucky. The campaign was established in memory of Navy Ensign John Elliott of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., who was killed by a drunk driver in July, 2000, two months after graduating from the United States Naval Academy.