FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Seventeen years ago, Stratford resident Sandy Higgs lost her 23-year-old daughter Karen to drunken driving. Since then, Higgs has made every effort to put a face on the dangers of drunken driving.
Higgs — along with representatives from Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), as well as Fairfield’s state legislators and the Fairfield Police Department — spoke Friday about a partnership between Uber and MADD that's intended to combat drunken driving this holiday season.
The partnership encourages New Year's Eve safety via discounted rides through Uber, an app-based ride service.
“Losing a child is something that stays with your family forever," Higgs said at the event at the Fairfield Theater Company. "There is always someone who is missing — at a wedding, at a birth — someone is always missing.”
State Sen. Tony Hwang of Fairfield (R-28th District) said drunken driving can be prevented.
Although drunken driving is an issue throughout the year, “it is from Thanksgiving to the New Year that concerns all of us in public safety,” said Hwang, who represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.
“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s in 2015, there were nearly 957 fatalities due to drunken driving,” he said.
Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said that in the past year, there have been 306 fatalities due to drunken driving in Connecticut. In addition, there were 8,722 arrests for driving under the influence.
“I am here today to send the message that this is preventable," MacNamera said. "The only key to that prevention is to plan ahead of time. Prior to going out, know how you're getting home."
MacNamara said the Uber partnership allows partygoers to easily get a safe ride home.
Uber is becoming everyone's designated driver, said Britta Mulderrig of Uber Connecticut.
“We are taking this pledge to practice safe driving," she said. "For us at Uber, making the roads safe on holidays and throughout the year is part of our mission.
“Just push a button on your phone and you have a safe and affordable ride in minutes,” Mulderrig said.
The www.uber.com discount works as follows:
- From Dec. 31 through 11:59 p.m. New Year’s Day, Uber will donate $5 per ride from riders who use the promo code of MADD Connecticut.
- New riders can sign up for Uber with the promo code MADDCT for $25 off their first ride, with $5 donated to MADD.
- Existing Uber riders can enter the promo code MADDCT2016 and Uber will donate $5 for each ride they take during the promotion.
For more information on Uber, click here .
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