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Operation Red Nose hits the road in the Tri-Cities beginning Friday

The service helps get drivers and their vehicles safely after a night of seasonal celebration.
Chris Wilson, of KidSport Tri-Cities, and the Operation Red Nose mascot, Rudy.

A free ride could save your life and enrich the lives of local kids.

Operation Red Nose launches its holiday season drive-home service on Friday, Dec. 1.

This is the 28th year volunteers will be available in the Tri-Cities, Burnaby and New Westminster to drive festive revellers home safely after a night of seasonal celebrating. The service is free, but donations will help support local chapters of KidSport that provide financial assistance to allow kids from low-income families to participate in sports and recreational programs.

Last year's effort collected more than $5,000 for KidSport Tri-Cities.

"When you use the service, not only are you getting yourself and your car home safely, you’re also helping raise money for important organizations around the province," said Chris Wilson of KidSport Tri-Cities, who's also a volunteer driver.

In a news release, Coquitlam RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Alexa Hodgins said Operation Red Nose helps keep the roads safer for everyone during the holiday season.

"Impaired driving can have tragic outcomes, but it doesn’t have to be that way," she said.

"Impaired driving can be completely preventable through proper planning and making good decisions before or after consuming drugs or alcohol."

Here’s how the service works:

  • If you feel you’ve had too much to drink to operate your vehicle safely, you can call Operation Red Nose for a ride home at 778-866-6673
  • The service runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 22 and 31
  • A team of three volunteers will arrive at your location; two will drive you home or to another location in your own vehicle while a third volunteer follows in their own vehicle to collect the other driver and navigator after they’ve delivered you to your destination
  • "You must have a car for us to drive as we are not a taxi service," advises the Operation Red Nose website, adding additional passengers are welcome as long as your vehicle has enough seatbelts available

In B.C. drivers can lose their driving privileges for 72 hours if your blood/alcohol concentration is higher than .05 when you blow into a roadside breathalyzer.

If the breath test measures greater than .08 you'll get a 90-day prohibition from driving and you could face criminal charges.

with a file from Lauren Vanderveen, Burnaby NOW