Troy - Today Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer County STOP-DWI and partners, the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Troy Downtown Business Improvement District, Tri-City ValleyCats, and DeCrescente Distributing Co., released the details of the designated driver program entitled R.I.D.E. or Rensselaer County Invites Designated Drivers Everyday.
The R.I.D.E. program consists of two main functions. First, participating establishments will provide free non-alcoholic beverages to the acknowledged designated driver in a group of two or more. Letters seeking participation have gone out to bars and restaurants across the County. Second, to promote DWI Awareness and the R.I.D.E. initiative the STOP DWI program will participate in 26 events across the County this summer including 5 TriCity ValleyCat games. Soft Drinks and transportation vouchers provided DeCrescente Distributing will be available at the County’s STOP DWI tent at these events.
“Driving drunk is never safe and never appropriate as it puts your life and the lives of fellow citizens at risk. I am hopeful and confident that the County’s R.I.D.E. program will make a difference by encouraging designated drivers and responsible decisions. I want to thank all of the partners to this program and encourage participation,” said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino.
Establishment owners all across the County have been invited to join R.I.D.E. and to play an active role in ensuring the health and safety of their patrons. A complete and updated list of participating establishments will be found on the program’s website, www.renscoride.com once it has been established.
“Law enforcement agencies across our County continue to report that the number of designated drivers is increasing,” Jimino added. “R.I.D.E. is a great way to recognize those responsible actions and encourage this continued growth and thereby help prevent future alcohol related tragedies on our county roads.”
In 2011, there were two fatalities, 789 DWI related arrests, and 1,420 vehicle tickets related to alcohol issued in Rensselaer County. County officials note that this is an average annual number of arrests within the County.
“The best way to avoid becoming a statistic or spending the night in jail is to be responsible and make a plan ahead of time, designate a non-drinking driver,” said Jim Gordon Rensselaer County STOP-DWI Coordinator.
A DWI conviction for a first-time offender could result in jail time, loss of driving privileges, and fines and penalties of more than $10,000.
"The ValleyCats are proud to partner with Rensselaer County Stop-DWI on the R.I.D.E. initiative. Our team is committed to providing fans with an experience that is affordable, fun and entertaining while in a safe environment,” said Rick Murphy, general manager of the TriCity ValleyCats. “As a R.I.D.E. program partner, the ValleyCats will educate our fans throughout the summer while being proactive in assuring a safe trip home."
“DeCrescente Distributing recognizes that the shared resources of our community and the beverage industry can be a powerful vehicle to implement and support responsible drinking policies and practices. With that aim in mind, we are proud to partner up with Rensselaer County STOP DWI for the entire 2012 season. We are committed to provide all Designated Drivers a free non-alcoholic beverage for their commitment to the safety of their friends and family. Also, we will provide "cab vouchers" to anybody who recognizes that they need help in getting home safely. Our goal is simple....let's enjoy all of Rensselaer County's events in the safest way possible and let us bring you home safely to your family and friends.” said Russ Teplitzky, general manager DeCrescente Distributing.
“The Downtown Troy Business Improvement District is excited to help Rensselaer County promote this wonderful program. We have many great restaurants and Bars in downtown Troy, and encouraging responsible enjoyment is extremely important,” said Elizabeth Young, executive director Troy Downtown Business Improvement District.
“DWI prevention is a priority for our members as we continue to promote Rensselaer County as a safe and valuable place to live, work, and play,” said Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce President Linda Hillman. “Reducing the number of persons injured or killed in alcohol and other related accidents is a community effort and we’re proud to partner with the Rensselaer County STOP DWI on this initiative.”
To participate in the program individuals and business owners are asked to contact the Rensselaer County STOP-DWI office at 270-2900 or visit the programs website, www.renscoride.com.