Free Lyft rides offered for New Year’s Eve by Boston firm

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BOSTON – New Year’s Eve celebrations will attract over 1 million people to Boston later this week and one local law firm is trying to ensure a safe night for many if not all.

Through Sober Ride Home Program, Sweeney Merrigan Law, a Boston-based firm that specializes in personal injury cases, is putting up $5,000 to pay for $15 Lyft credits to cover transportation for as many as 333 rides in cars dispatched by Web-based hailing service to help reduce the number of drunk drivers and related accidents in and around the Hub Thursday night and Friday morning.

To score a free ride, visit the Sober Ride Home Program site that goes live Wednesday. You must complete a short pledge saying you won’t drive while intoxicated over New Year’s Eve. The program will then use email to send you an individual code worth $15. The credit can be applied towards any ride within the greater Boston area and the cost should cover most rides within the city.

“It seems like alcohol in celebrations with Christmas and New Years… kind of go hand-in-hand and they wanted to do something to make a difference in that way and ensure that people have a healthy start to 2016,” said Rob Tindula, the outreach coordinator at Safer America, an organization that is helping the law firm coordinate the program.

Although most college students are on their winter break during New Year’s Eve, Boston still knows how to party with the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed by adults per month reaching 15.6, higher than any other city according to The Daily Beast. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearby New Hampshire consumes twice as much alcohol as the national average (and much of that may be attributed to Bay State buyers driving in looking for tax-free libations). Massachusetts ranks closer to the middle.

But with drinking comes a price. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2013 report on motor vehicle crashes showed there were 10,076 alcohol-related fatalities in the U.S., including 118 in Massachusetts.

At a firm that deals with personal injury cases, the destruction caused by drunk driving is all too apparent.

“One case where someone is injured due to drunk driving is one too many,” Tucker Merrigan, a founding partner of Sweeney Merrigan, said in a statement. “Our practice is devoted to keeping our community safe and we feel we are simply doing our part to raise awareness.”

The firm worked with Lyft because of its willingness to engage with customers and provide a safe and friendly experience both for the driver and the passengers.

“They where really easy to work with so it was just a natural fit,” Tindula said.

Signing up beforehand can leave you more carefree while toasting in the New Year, so consider taking advantage of a free lift while they last.