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Free rides home available to New Year's Eve revelers

December 29, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

New Year's Eve partygoers who ring in the new millennium a little too heartily can receive a free ride home courtesy of Turner's Taxi in Hagerstown.

For the past 20 years, owner George Turner has provided the no-cost transportation from 11 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 3 a.m. on Jan. 1 for those who have had too much to drink.

Turner said he will have his entire 30-vehicle fleet staffed in order to accommodate revelers throughout Washington County.

"We certainly hope that everyone celebrates the new millennium in a safe and responsible manner but for those who need us, we'll be there," Turner said.

He said he supplies the free rides as a community service.

Turner said he believes has saved lives over the years by offering the rides.

"If we've saved one life in the last 20 years, we've done our part," he said.

The taxi company doesn't keep track of the exact number of rides it provides each holiday, but it usually amounts to eight to 10 rides an hour, Turner said.

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"We don't want to keep score," he said.

Turner's Taxi has notified managers of local bars and hotels scheduled to have New Year's festivities so that they are aware of the service and can make calls for rides for patrons.

The rides are available to take people home and not for barhopping, said Turner.

Giving bartenders the option of calling for free rides can put their minds at ease if a customer appears to have had too much to drink, he said.

Officials from Hagerstown City Police, Maryland State Police and the Washington County Sheriff's Department said they welcome the free ride service.

"It's wonderful. I hope everybody takes advantage of it," said Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Travers Ruppert.

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