There's no question about it, during the holidays with all of the Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations, there are plenty of people who have no business jumping in the car and driving home. For whatever reason though, many do still drink and drive.

Mike Sawaya, a Denver area lawyer, has been trying to prevent that very scenario for the last eight years. At a very young age Sawaya lost his sister to a drunk driving accident. When state troopers called the family's home to notify them that a loved one had been killed in a car wreck, it was Mike who answered the phone. Even now, many years later, the mention of the topic hits close home in a very real way.

With a passion to prevent drunk driving, Sawaya set out to create what is now well know as the "Free Holiday Ride Program" in the Denver area. This year that program expands to Northern Colorado with a simple message:

Drive responsibly this season; don't drink and drive. If you have any doubts, have a friend drive or call a cab and send the bill to me."

Over the years, Sawaya estimates that he has spent $250,000 to $350,000 each year to advertise the program and pay for the cab rides of over 20,000 Coloradoans. His program has continually grown to include free cab rides on St. Patrick's Day, the 4th of July, Cinco De Mayo, Halloween, Christmas and New Year's Eve. While the cost of the program is immense, one of Sawaya's co-workers told us it is so important to him that he never flinches at the price tag and would continue the program at any cost.

The "Free Holiday Cab Ride Program" is meant to be a courtesy to everyone in the community, not just those who can't drive home. The goal is to protect all drivers on the roads and this method is the most effective way Sawaya could try to prevent tragedy.

Spread the word and let's all help prevent drinking and driving during the holidays. This is perhaps one of the best arguments yet to keep those who shouldn't be behind the wheel off of the streets. There are no excuses! Sawaya is very serious about about people sending him their cab bill and assured us that there are no catches or marketing pitches; he receives your bill in the mail and promptly sends you back a check. Plain and simple, that's it!

There are a few restrictions on on the cab rides:

  • Valid Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - Wednesday, January 1, 2014
  • Good for a one way ride to your home
  • Must be 21 years of age or older to participate
  • Good for a ride in Northern Colorado or Metro Denver with a maximum value of $35.00
  • Must send receipt and copy of valid drivers license to:

Free Holiday Cab Ride Program
The Sawaya Law Firm
1600 Ogden Street
Denver, CO 80218

If you have further questions about the free holiday ride program, you can call (303) 847-0296 for more details.

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