Since 1994, the Tavern League of Wisconsin (TLW) has committed to eliminating drunk driving from Wisconsin's roadways with the operation of its SafeRide® program, which provides free rides home to patrons of TLW member establishments. The program's success is documented in results from a recent annual SafeRide® Survey of more than 60 counties in the state of Wisconsin.
In 2020-21, the SafeRide® program provided 42,347 free rides home from 2,006 TLW-member establishments — the number of participating businesses has increased by nearly 300 since 2019. The program has provided over 1,000,000 rides since 2004.
Wisconsin has witnessed a 44% decline in OWI convictions since 2007 and almost a 50% decline in alcohol-related fatalities during that same time period.
The nearly $1 million cost of the SafeRide® program is shared by TLW members and funds generated by surcharges on OWI convictions.
TLW President Keith Kern said, "The Tavern League of Wisconsin and our members are proud to serve our state and our communities. One of our top priorities is to keep our patrons and Wisconsin roadways safe. The SafeRide® program continues to be a model for the rest of the nation."
The SafeRide® program is considered the standard for other states to model as they strive to combat the issue of drunk driving. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has recognized the SafeRide® program for its effort to reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities.