Safe Ride, DDS here to help students

A few drinks in, students face the pivotal decision of getting into a car and risk driving home (even if they don’t “feel” the alcohol) or walk. Or maybe it’s a student leaving the library late at night — and walking past the graveyard has been said to be dangerous, as recent assaults have shown.

It is in these types situations that Safe Ride and the ASUO Designated Driver Shuttle services come in, and it is the mission of these programs to give students the safest mode of transportation possible.

Both shuttle services have numbers that can be called to schedule a ride or be put on a wait list.

“We want people to feel safe at night,” said Emily Balloun, the education coordinator for Safe Ride. “I want people to know they have other options.”

Both are completely confidential and do not give information to the Department of Public Safety or the Eugene Police Department.

“We do pick up people that are intoxicated,” she said. “We don’t check to make sure if you’re a minor and drinking. We’re not your parent. We’re your safe ride.”

There are few situations in which a driver might feel the need to call the authorities.

“The only case where we’re going to involve DPS is when someone is absolutely incapable of coherently talking,” she said. “Only in a case of complete incapacitation.”

Between the two services, Safe Ride is a more general ride service, while DDS specifically targets drunk-driving prevention. The recent accident involving a driver and bicyclist who were both intoxicated is a reminder of what is at risk when partaking in such actions.

“A bike rider is no different on a bicycle intoxicated than a motorcycle rider or a motor vehicle,” said Officer Dennis Doe of the Eugene Police Department. The laws apply the same between both types of transport.

“Anywhere a law refers to a vehicle, it applies to both,” he said. “When a person has a (blood alcohol content) level of 0.08, they are under the influence, no matter what.”

The risk here is not only in receiving a driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) citation but in putting lives in danger by driving impaired. And being afraid of potentially getting in trouble should not be a reason to not use either University service.

“People should feel safe calling us,” Balloun said. “It’s not our business to get into your business.”

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