Operation Choose Your Ride: Aurora cops offer free rides home to help curtail holiday DUIs

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    AURORA | Of course, the Aurora Police Department will be on the lookout for partiers this weekend as people ring in the new year, but they’re offering free rides home to revelers to keep them from getting behind the wheel drunk.

    There are a few stipulations, but the offer to tipsy partiers for a free ride home is for real.

    The department is its third year of “Operation Choose Your Ride NYE,” where participants are offered a free ride home from officers so long as they’re of drinking age, have a valid ID, agree to a brief search and live within 10 miles of the Aurora border.

    “The thing I really want to drive home is that there is no agenda,” said Sgt. Mike Douglass, from APD’s traffic section.

    In the past few years Douglass said there have only been a few participants who call for rides perhaps because it’s from the police, but this year he’s hoping more people will see the DUI taxi as an option.

    “We want to get people home safe,” he said.

    Officers will wear body cameras, and a news release from the department says officers “have full discretion to refuse this service to anyone if the officers feels it would be unsafe to continue due to extreme intoxication, uncooperative behavior, etc.”

    Douglass said if there’s an instance where somebody is too drunk to be taken home by the police, officers could call for medical attention, take the person to detox or call family.

    The program will operate from Dec. 29 through Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Each DUI Taxi will have two officers, which will give a verbal presentation about DUI arrests and educational materials about impaired driving.

    Those who need a ride can contact the traffic section at 303-627-3100.