St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Free Ride Home Program for holiday season

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann, left, and Capt. Walter Dornan at one of the five signs in the parish announcing the start of the Sheriff’s Office free Holiday Ride Home program. The annual program kicks of Thanksgiving day and runs through Jan. 2. St. Bernard residents who have too much to drink during the holiday season can call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 for a safe ride home.

St. Bernard Sheriff James Pohlmann wishes everyone a Happy Holiday season and reminds them to call the Sheriff’s Office if they are in need of a safe ride home.

The program, which runs from Thanksgiving day through Jan. 2, allows residents who have too much to drink during the holiday season to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501 to receive a free ride home from a deputy, no questions asked.

A Sheriff’s Office deputy will pick you up and take you to your home in St. Bernard or, if you live outside the parish, they will take you to a Sheriff’s substation where you can make arrangements to be picked up by a friend or family member.

Sheriff Pohlmann said the goal of the program is to cut down on drinking and driving to prevent injuries from vehicle crashes.

“It is so simple and it could save your life or the life of someone you might hit in a traffic accident,” the Sheriff said.

Callers will be given a ride home, but not to a bar, nightclub or to another party.

“We don’t want to arrest you for driving while intoxicated or another impairment,” Sheriff Pohlmann said. “So, instead of getting behind the wheel if you are impaired, just give us a call and we will pick you up and give you a ride.”

The free Holiday Ride Home program was started in St. Bernard Parish in 1986 and was the first of its kind in the New Orleans area. About two dozen people take advantage of the program each year.