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Getting home safe with ‘Anna’s Ride’

To save lives and decrease the number of DUIs, The Horse & Cow Bar & Grill on Northlake Way is kicking off “Anna’s Ride Home” program at 8 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 12.

The “Anna’s Ride Home” program was originally started in King County. The program is named after Anna Armstrong White who was killed by a drunk driver in 2002. She was 21 years old and just two days shy of her 22nd birthday. Soon after her death, her parents established the Anna Armstrong White Foundation and created “Anna’s Ride Home.”

The program is a designated driver/voucher program that provides free rides home to those too intoxicated to drive.

“We made a conscious decision to move forward to honor Anna’s memory and to do something to make a positive change in our community,” said Barbara White, president of the Anna Armstrong White Foundation. “Since the start of the “Anna’s Ride Home” program, we have provided hundreds of free rides home throughout the Bellevue, Seattle, Issaquah, Bothell, and Kirkland areas.”

And now the program is being kicked off in Kitsap County. The Horse & Cow is joining forces with the foundation, Taxi & Tours, Bremerton-Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force, the Kitsap County MADD Chapter, the county Prosecutor’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Naval Base Kitsap to try to educate patrons about responsible drinking.

“It’s being used as an educational tool, not to abuse and use. It’s not for habitual users,” said Mike Looby, owner of the Horse & Cow.

He explained that patrons should not go to the bar every Friday night with the thought in their mind that they can get drunk knowing they will have a free ride home, it should teach them to plan ahead in the future.

The way it works is patrons who recognize that they are too drunk to drive fill out an “Anna’s Ride Home” voucher for a free ride home courtesy of Taxi & Tours.

“It’s supposed to curb DUIs and the only way to solve DUIs is to educate,” Looby said.

Looby is trying to drive down the number of DUIs coming out of the Horse & Cow. Last year the bar had the most resulting DUIs in Kitsap County and was No. 3 in the state. To help bring those numbers down, Looby has established a designated driver program, a taxi tow program, placed a breathalyzer near the front door and now “Anna’s Ride Home.” The Horse & Cow Bar & Grill now has dropped to No. 3 in the county and No. 23 in the state.

“They’ve done a tremendous job and are really trying to turn the numbers around,” said Shirley Wise, Bremerton-Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force

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