City Tackles Drunk Driving By Giving Away Debit Cards Today In Queens and Brooklyn

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Free money!

As part of its campaign against drunk driving, the city's Department of Transportation has launched a "Safe Rides Home" giveaway promotion with thousands of free taxi, livery, and public transit rides in honor of, what else, March Madness.

It's a part of this slightly oddly-named initiative called You The Man, which is intended to "resonate with all New Yorkers, and especially young men ages 21-39 -- a demographic overrepresented in alcohol-related crashes in the city," according to a press release sent out last week.

So, you know, be the man, dudes, and claim your free money!

In total, the city is providing nearly 2,000 free debit cards valued at $15 each for New Yorkers to use in taxis or at MetroCard or other ticket machines this month. Additionally, 3,000 single-ride MetroCards are being distributed as part of this program. The debit cards can be redeemed at the city's 13,000-plus taxicabs, participating livery car services, MTA, PATH, NJ Transit or other ticketing machines and it goes through noon, April 3rd.

And guess what, there's a fun smartphone app for this too. The Voice just downloaded it to test it out -- not only does it have an interactive ride-finding map, which directs you to livery services near you that you can call, as well nearby subway stops, it also has a Blood Alcohol Calculator function! Type in your gender, weight, number of drinks, and hours you've been drinking, and like magic your BAC pops up on the screen. (The Voice's advice: If you're too drunk to figure this part out or remember your weight or something, maybe don't drive! Click the little ride finder thing on the right to get a taxi, much easier and safer!)

The first round of giveaways was last week, there's a second round today, and the last one will be on March 31st. You've got to jump on the Twitter train to find out where they'll be.

The giveaways will take place in Astoria and Bay Ridge today, starting at around 5 p.m., so keep an eye out in those parts of town. A spokesperson from the Dept. of Transportation told us this morning that the street team will be posting live on Twitter, so follow them this afternoon to find out where they'll be. The teams will be canvassing the neighborhood on sidewalks with big posters. (They'll look like this presumably.)

To get you pumped about this, here's one of the ads, the Voice noticed on the subway this week, with text on an iPhone message reading, "Tanks for diving me lome. U r the beast."

While we may question the authenticity of that drunk text (something about it just doesn't ring true as a real drunk text!), it's the message below it that counts: "Drunk texting is a bad idea. Drunk driving is worse."

[SamTLevin / @SamTLevin]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.

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2 comments
Rehab
Rehab

I agree with the previous comment. Drunk driving should not  be tolerated but instead be penalize like any other crime. How long can the state of NY sustain giving away these free money? They should spend that in educating people not to drink and drive or else they will be in jail.

Careless driving Toronto
Careless driving Toronto

If every driver would pay all his tickets I'm sure local authorities would be very happy because the we're talking about big money....Drunk driving should be punished like no other traffic violation because these drivers are the biggest danger we have on the road. Unfortunately most of them get away without any penalty and that's sad....someone should do something about this.

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