If you lift too many beers to your mouth, Lyft and a beer company might soon pay for you to get home safely.
Beginning Friday, the ride-hailing service in partnership with Budweiser will offer free (or at least substantially discounted) late-night rides to revelers in four states, distributing 5,000 $10 coupons every weekend for rides taken between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
The anti-drunk driving campaign will run through the end of the year in Colorado, Florida, Illinois and New York, all of which are both key markets for Lyft and Budweiser, a Lyft spokesperson told The Huffington Post, and among the top states for drunk driving-related deaths.
Lyft and Budweiser will give the ride credits to customers of legal drinking age via the companies’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Despite the apparent shift in tactics to a more hands-on approach, Budweiser says their responsibility to curb drunk-driving remains unchanged.
“While the approaches have evolved, the mission remains the same,” Katja Zastrow, Anheuser-Busch vice president of corporate social responsibility, told HuffPost in an email. “This ongoing Lyft partnership is the next step in spreading Budweiser’s ‘Give a damn. Don’t drive drunk.’ message.”
Zastrow said Budweiser teamed up with Lyft after success with similar pilot programs at music festivals earlier this year.
It’s interesting timing for the campaign.
Earlier this summer, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found, counterintuitively, that Uber, a competing ride-hailing service, had very little impact on drunk driving rates.
A possible explanation: Those who drink responsibly were already finding safe ways to get home before ride-hailing apps exploded on the scene, either in a traditional cab or via public transportation. Meanwhile, people who decide to drive drunk ― already susceptible to making bad decisions due to their impaired judgment ― opt to endanger others rather than pay for a ride.
If that too-cheap-to-pay-for-a-ride theory holds water, we may see a drastic reduction in drunk driving rates in the four states targeted by Budweiser and Lyft.
“There have been conflicting reports on the impact that ride-sharing has had on drunk driving,” a Lyft spokesperson told HuffPost, “but we’re focused on our primary goal of this partnership, which is to reduce the 10,000 drunk driving-related deaths per year.
“Lyft can be a solution to the problem,” the spokesperson added, “and we are committed to making rides as accessible as possible to everyone who needs them.”