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1 Project FreeRide An ambitious, preventative measure against drunk driving. 15 November 2015 Proposal Status ( Initial Draft ) This proposal is a living document and will be updated as improvements and new information become available. Initial Draft: 22 November 2015 Final Draft: xx xx xxxx Latest Update: 21 December 2015 Introduction A huge problem exists in the United States and that is driving under the influence (DUI). There were 921 cases for DUI in Harford County, Maryland in 2014 alone 1. It is estimated that the amount of people caught driving under the influence is about.013% 2. Using those figures, a rough estimate of around 70,000 cases of DUI go unnoticed per year in Harford County, which is a significant amount of people on the road who are intoxicated. The result of drunk drivers on the road have already cost the state of Maryland lives this year. Looking into the reason that intoxicated people are on the road in our state will allow us to come up with a solution to prevent the issue. We believe we have a possible solution to cut down on these figures as well as increase local revenue to drinking establishments in a safe and responsible way for their patrons. In order to understand the problem and determine a possible solution, we need to focus on what puts people in a situation where they drink and drive. Reasons People Drink and Drive There are many reasons that people drink and drive. A person may not know when they are above the legal limit.

2 2 It is often hard to determine when one has consumed enough alcohol to be over the limit. Many factors must be looked at including body mass, fitness, rate of absorption, and rate of elimination. Each factor can vary significantly from one person to another. In addition, people who drink more often, will likely have a higher tolerance and may not be as likely to realize when they have had too much. A person's judgement becomes impaired while drinking thus increasing the chances of making a bad decision. Alcohol affects the functioning of the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls a person's judgement, behavior, emotions, and can cause a person to act outside of how they normally act. Alcohol also affects the hippocampus, cerebellum, reticular acting system, and medulla which drastically alters a person's perspective and capabilities. 4 Why don t people use taxis? The distance home seems close enough that it would take less time to drive home than take a taxi. It may be an inconvenience to call and wait for the taxi. It may seem like an inconvenience to again call for a taxi in the morning to return to pick up their car. Taking a taxi, not once, but twice would double the cost. Addressing the Issues The two main issues as an individual are knowing when you are over the limit and finding easy transportation. Project FreeRide is a potential solution to these problems. The following describes a concept that would help curb drinking and driving safely. Goals 1. Reduce the number of potential drunk drivers on the road: This service will drive potential drunk drivers safely home. 2. Save lives: With fewer drunk drivers on the road, there will be fewer fatalities. This will keep our roads and loved ones safer.

3 3 3. Save costs: This will save both time and money for investigations and accident cleanup. It will allow police to focus on other issues in the area. Concept Having an alternative option immediately available for a potential drunk driver can significantly reduce chances of them attempting to drive. A study done at Temple University shows that California cities that have driving services such as Uber and Lyft have a reduction in alcohol related motor vehicle homicides by about 3.6% to 5.6%. 5 By focusing on patrons of drinking establishments and eliminating the cost for reasonable-distance transportation, Project FreeRide hopes to contribute to the reduction of alcohol related motor vehicle offenses. In Project FreeRide, a vehicle will arrive at each of the selected drinking establishments during a specified schedule. At each location, the driver will have a breathalyzer available for potential drivers to check their current level of sobriety. This will allow them to determine if they are able to drive. They can then choose to receive a ride or drive home themselves. The vehicle will pick up people and wait for roughly 15 minutes at each stop or until the vehicle is full. The FreeRide driver will take each passenger home based on the shortest distance route. For each of the passengers who use FreeRide at night, there will be a pickup option in the morning. This will allow them to get to their cars safely and allow them keep to their schedule. To make FreeRide easier, all drop off requests, pickup requests, and general information will be available through any modern smartphone. In the event of unruly passengers, the FreeRide driver will have the option to call a taxi or the police. The taxi will be free of charge for the passenger, as well; however, the return trip will no longer be an option. Drivers The concept behind Project FreeRide is to have first time DUI offenders, who have been properly vetted through counseling, to become the drivers. Although this may be controversial,

4 4 Project FreeRide would be a court/judge appointed option as a remedial tool for the individual. This would be an alternative sentencing to benefit more than just the offender. To qualify as a candidate for Project FreeRide, the individual must be evaluated by a counseling group verifying there is no dependency on alcohol. They must provide references from their employer to determine reliability and truthfulness. In addition, drivers will be required to check for alcohol in their system before and after their shift. Should an individual be deemed to have a dependency on alcohol, they would be ineligible to participate in Project FreeRide. Project FreeRide would have a one strike policy. Any mistakes including speeding, drinking, or other violations, will not be tolerated. Any driver who violates these rules will be brought back before the judge, similar to a violation of Probation Before Judgment, and would no longer would be eligible for the program. In addition to the previously described drivers, Project FreeRide would also accept volunteers. Anyone willing to drive would be accepted following a background check. Driving Routine Project FreeRide would initially run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. This could be amended to include holidays, as well as, change based on frequent DUI nights. There will be two shifts at night and one or two shifts in the morning, depending on return requests. Night Shifts 10:00PM - 12:00AM 12:00AM - 2:00AM Morning Shifts 6:00AM - 8:00AM 8:00AM - 10:00AM Each shift will be required to complete a minimum of three stops per hour. The days and shifts would be divided depending on the quantity of drivers.

5 5 Destination and Distance The destination and distance of the ride will be within 10 to 15 minutes of the establishment. This allows a minimum of four people to be dropped off within an hour, including a return trip. Smartphone / Web Application The application will allow users to do the following: Application Passenger View Abilities Sign up for the service Request a ride Per QR code or bar location Enter an address for both destination and morning pickup Request a morning pick up Requires a previous night ride Rate the driver Requires explanation if not a positive rating Request help through the police, should it be needed Driver View Abilities Presents a list of locations to acquire passengers Rate passengers Passengers with poor rating can have a taxi called free of charge Provide directions to each passenger drop off Request help through the police, should it be needed Server Maintain statistics on service usage Keep ratings of each passenger

6 6 Keep ratings of drivers Calculate the shortest path to drop all passengers off. Specifications For Trial Run Project FreeRide will initially begin as a trial run on a small scale. If successful, it can be expanded to other locations and days. The first trial run will be at one bar with one night and morning shift per day. This will also be a way to collect information to determine the usefulness of the service. Follow up trial runs will increase in shifts and number of locations to determine what is manageable. Drivers for the trial run will likely be volunteers until alternative sentencing is approved for first time DUI offenders. Financials As part of the alternative punishment for vetted and approved first time DUI offender requirements, they will be responsible for all gas and tolls while driving. They will also be required to put down a deposit to be used for taxis. The down payment will be split amongst drivers, should the need to summon taxis arise. The anticipated cost would be close to that of having an ignition interlock installed in the vehicle. The interlock device costs roughly $ to be installed and about $80 dollars a month for monitoring and calibration. 6 Thus the target deposit would be about $100 dollars and the target cost of gas and tolls would be roughly $80 dollars per month. Assuming worst case scenario, which excludes stopping for pickup and drop off, a driver could drive about 60 miles in an hour. If they were to do four 2-hour shifts in a month, they would potentially drive 480 miles. The current average gas price per gallon is about $2 7 and the 2014 average fuel economy of cars is about 25 miles to the gallon. 8 If we calculate on the

7 7 conservative side using $3 per gallon and 20 miles per gallon, we come out to about $72 dollars per month in fuel costs. The real cost of fuel would likely be lower. In addition, contributions and donations may be accepted. Volunteer drivers will not be responsible for the cost of taxis. If there is enough money, volunteers will be reimbursed for their milage. Passages may provide donations to Project FreeRide through the FreeRide application. No cash will exchange hands within the FreeRide vehicle. Milestones 1. Setup website to gather statistics, feedback and promote the concept 2. Ground campaign: to find supporting bars and restaurants a. Print business cards that point to the site 3. Mail campaign: to find the correct people in Harford County s government to potentially make this proposal a reality 4. Finish the driver and passenger side of the web application 5. Choose a trial location to conduct a dry run 6. Complete dry run 7. Examine one night trial to determine flaws 8. Address flaws 9. Conduct two night trial 10. Apply information and observations from trial runs for appropriate functioning of the designed schedule Expansion and Future Ideas Expanding Project FreeRide from a rural area like Harford County, Maryland to a bigger city will come with a few more challenges that must be considered. A big issue would be leaving the passenger's car where it is parked. A lot of areas have metered parking, overnight restrictions or charges associated with them. Leaving the car overnight could cost the passenger more than a taxi in both directions and their car could potentially be towed.

8 8 To solve this problem, Project FreeRide drivers within bigger cities could have two drivers. One driver to drive the FreeRide vehicle and one to drive the passenger s vehicle. Having two drivers might also increase the safety of both the passengers and the drivers by having a larger group. This extra service would likely have a fee associated with it which would help reduce costs for the project. Sponsorship The following groups have reviewed this proposal and have chosen to support the idea. Organisations TBD Individuals TBD References 1. "Success of DUI Enforcement in Harford County Recognized." The Dagger Local News with an Edge. N.p., 18 May Web. 15 Nov < unty-recognized/>. 2. Worland, Justin. "Why Police Aren't Catching Drunk Drivers." Time. Time, 31 Dec Web. 15 Nov < 3. "MADD - Maryland." MADD - Maryland. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Nov < 4. "Alcohol and Your Brain." Science NetLinks. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov < 5. Greenwood, Brad N., and Sunil Wattal. "Show Me the Way to Go Home: An Empirical Investigation of Ride Sharing and Alcohol Related Motor Vehicle Homicide." SSRN Electronic Journal SSRN Journal (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 6. "MADD - Ignition Interlock FAQ's." MADD - Ignition Interlock FAQ's. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Dec <

9 9 7. "December 2015 AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report." AAAs Daily Fuel Gauge Report. N.p., Dec Web. 21 Dec < 8. "Average Fuel Economy of New U.S. Vehicles Rises to 25.4 Mpg." Automotive News. N.p., 03 Apr Web. 21 Dec < omy-of-new-u.s.-vehicles-rises-to-25.4-mpg>.

10 10 Support For Project Free Ride Name Signature Organization Date 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)

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