Downtown Rockford Aims to End Drunk Driving

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

DOWNTOWN ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Make Rockford’s streets safer and bring more business to downtown. That's the goal for six local establishments, as they kicked off a new partnership aiming to put more designated drivers behind the wheel.

Through the end of November, patrons who visit the six different restaurants and bars in the 500 block of East State Street in downtown Rockford, can get a free ride home from Designated Drivers of Illinois.

The new partnership kicked off Friday night and runs every Friday and Saturday night from 11 pm to bar time. No taxis are used for the program, instead using customer's cars, so they won't have to worry about going back in the morning to pick it up.

"Everybody on the block, if there here or at the office, or at bamboo or at social, you know...they know that they can make the right choice if they want to. The person that was supposed to be a designated driver can enjoy a glass of wine with them and then they could all go home together”, says Abreo restaurant owner Paul Sletten.

Designated Drivers of Illinois owner Nick Juplin says been has been promoting the program only through word of mouth and social media, and hopes more people become aware of the service as the holidays near.

Participating establishments: Abreo, Social Urban Bar and Restaurant, The Office, Bamboo Noodles and Tapas Bar, Deli Italia, The Irish Rose, Kryptonite Music Lounge

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