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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jen Location: Rockford on Nov 13, 2011 at 11:26 AM
    Wonderful that these bars are doing this. We were at an eastside establishment last night around closing time and watched as a clearly intoxicated person sped through the parking lot and drove right into two parked cars. People were in the parking lot at the time and it was a blessing that he hit the cars and not people. Someone could have easily been killed by this man that should not have been driving. His car was so damaged that there was no way he could leave and I can only hope that he was arrested.
  • by RANDY Location: WINNEBAGO on Nov 12, 2011 at 09:14 PM
    I MAY WISH TO OFFER MY SERVICES ON WEEKENDS TO GIVE RIDES HOME TO LOCALS, IF THEY WERE OVERSERVED. HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE? I LOST MY YOUNG DAUGHTER A YEAR AGO BECAUSE SHE MADE A MISTAKE BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A AUTO.
  • by Cam Location: Rockford on Nov 12, 2011 at 07:34 PM
    This is a good beginning. However; it would also eliminate many DUI's if these establishments would put a stop to overserving alcohol to customers just to make the almighty buck.
  • by Duane Location: Rockford on Nov 12, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    I didn't think there were too much to do downtown except to visit the courthouses, law offices and jail.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 12, 2011 at 06:29 PM
    so why not have this service at every bar in Rockford, or is it that Laura Morrissey, oops sorry, Larry Morrissey has got them under contract on tax payers money to just supply rides to downtown establishments. If they are so worried about getting lower numbers on DUI's, they would provide this service city wide
  • by Lisa on Nov 12, 2011 at 01:09 AM
    This is a FANTASTIC idea! Thanks for caring!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Nov 14, 2011 at 08:38 AM in reply to Lisa
      This service is paid for and provided by the individual businesses of Block 5 who are working together to promote safer options for their guests, the city has nothing to do with this service. It is an awesome service.
    • reply
      by TREX on Apr 7, 2012 at 03:05 PM in reply to Lisa
      Every bar should do it and then the expletive cops would run out of things to do on Friday and Saturday and start doing what they are supposed to do.
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