AKRON, Ohio — Fourth of July celebrations are different this year, as people and communities adjust to life during a pandemic.
But one aspect of the holiday isn't changing in Summit County: The prosecutor's office is still providing free rides home in the county to anyone who has had too many drinks.
The program is called "Arrive Alive," and according to the prosecutor's office nearly 2,000 people have used the service since it launched in 2018.
The initiative gives Summit County residents two options for free or discounted rides home if they indulge in too much alcohol this holiday weekend. First, they can either call City Yellow Cab at (330) 253-3141 and mention "Arrive Alive" for a free ride home in the county (up to $65).
Lyft is another option. Use the code SCPO7420, which are the first letters of the words Summit County Prosecutor's Office and the July 4 date. You’ll receive a one-time discount of $20. There is a limit of 300 codes.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says they're providing this program because lives are needlessly lost every day because of crashes involving alcohol.
“Some of the saddest cases we see are individuals who are killed by drunk drivers because it's just so senseless,” Walsh said. “There's really no good reason for someone to drive when they've been drinking. There are plenty of options to avoid getting behind the wheel of that car and potentially killing someone.”
According to statistics from The Ohio Department of Public Safety, three people were killed and close to 100 were injured in crashes involving drugs or alcohol during last year's July Fourth holiday weekend. In Summit County during that same time frame, seven drug or alcohol related crashes were reported with two injuries, although no one was killed.
This year's "Arrive Alive" campaign runs from 6 p.m. Friday, July 3 to 6 a.m. Sunday, July 5.
A representative from the Prosecutor’s Office says on average the program costs around $2,000 and is funded through sponsors and money seized from drug dealers. County Sheriff Steve Barry is co-sponsoring this weekend’s campaign.