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People too drunk to drive home can get a free Uber ride in EveshamReuters

As drink-driving in one US town reaches record levels, a new service has been set up to give free Uber rides home for those too drunk to drive. The 45,000 residents of Evesham Township can be collected from one of 19 establishments.

The use of Uber and a new service called BeMyDD (designated driver) follows on from a pilot scheme set up in September that used free shuttle buses to get people home who were unsafe to drive. This alone saw the town's arrests for drink-driving fall from a monthly average of 23 to eight, a drop of 65%. The next step will see the use of taxi-hailing apps, with journeys paid for by the town itself, thanks to donations from local businesses and non-profit organisations, reported the New York Times.

Almost two dozen drinking establishments in the town are signed up to the scheme, which gives drivers a free ride home to any address in Evesham between 9pm and 2am every night of the week. The scheme will run in partnership with Uber and BeMyDD until 2 January, hopefully eradicating the usual influx of drink-driving offences over Christmas and the New Year.

Town mayor Randy Brown said: "We're dealing with people who might've had too much to drink, so we needed to make it so easy for them to open their iPhone and push a button."

Ana Mahony, general manager of Uber New Jersey, said: "We began working with Mayor Brown through our national partner, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and realised it was the perfect opportunity to use our technology to help take drunk drivers off the road." Uber says it is using Evesham as a local pilot before considering working with other towns to offer a similar service.