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There will be free Lyft rides home on July 4, thanks in part to Amazon

ACPD SoberRide (Photo courtesy of Washington Regional Alcohol Program)

There will again be free Lyft rides on Independence Day, at least in part because of Amazon.

The trillion-dollar tech company with a growing presence in Arlington is donating $10,000 to the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) for its SoberRide partnership with Lyft.

The program provides D.C. area residents a free ride home, instead of driving drunk, on a number of holidays, including New Years’ Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Cinco De Mayo, and July 4.

Starting at 4 p.m. on Monday, locals will be able to enter a promotional SoberRide code in the Lyft app for a free ride up to $15. The promotion will run for 12 hours, until 4 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5.

The needed promo code will be posted on the SoberRide’s website at 3 p.m. on Monday.

This marks the sixth year of the partnership between WRAP and Lyft, which began in 2017. During that time, the program has offered thousands of rides around the D.C. area on major holidays to combat impaired driving.

Prior to the partnership with Lyft, WRAP had been partnering with local cab companies since 1991. Over the last three decades, WRAP’s SoberRide program has given more than 82,000 rides home in the D.C. area.

More than 2,200 rides will be available this July 4, WRAP President Kurt Erickson told ARLnow, three times the number of rides provided in 2019 when the record was set.

“Amazon’s further investment in this local and lifesaving program is a real and needed shot in the arm to better equip WRAP and SoberRide to rid area roadways of impaired drivers,” Kurt Erickson, WRAP’s President, said in a press release. “In as much, Amazon’s latest community investment will enhance SoberRide’s capacity in time for a holiday when more than four-in-ten U.S. traffic deaths involve drunk drivers.”

Beyond Amazon, other program sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Gian Food, Glory Days Grill, New Belgium Brewing, and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.

There’s one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality every 45 minutes, on average, in the US, according to recent data from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA). While drunk driving fatalities had been going down, from 2019 to 2020, they rose by nearly 15%, again according to the NHSTA.

With Arlington pretty much back to fully celebrating America’s birthday, there are plenty of events, parades, and barbeques going on this year locally. With Metro offering reduced service this July 4, the Arlington County Police Department is asking residents to “plan a sober ride home” from these events while advocating for the SoberRide program.

In April, the County Board approved Phase 2 of Amazon’s HQ2 with construction already underway in Crystal City and Pentagon City. It’s set to be completed next year, along with the signature “Helix.”

Amazon, one of the world’s most profitable companies, has donated some money and land to Arlington in recent years.

This $10,000 donation to SoberRide to help locals get home safely on July 4 is part of the company’s efforts to be a “good neighbor.”

“As we head into the July 4th holiday weekend, we are grateful to be partnering with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program to provide free, safe rides to thousands of passengers across the Greater Washington region,” said Patrick Phillippi, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at Amazon, in a release. “At Amazon, we are committed to being a good neighbor and partner to the community and we wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday weekend.”

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