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Summit County is offering free Lyft rides to prevent drunk driving over the 4th of July

a photo of fireworks
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The Summit County Prosecutor's and Sheriff's Offices are encouraging residents to drive safely this Fourth of July.

Summit County residents can get free or reduced price Lyft rides over the Fourth of July holiday. The program is a way to curb drunk driving.

For the fifth year in a row, the Summit County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s offices are offering the Arrive Alive program for Independence Day. Every resident can receive up to $20 towards a Lyft ride to use through 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Community Outreach Prosecutor Elliot Kolkovich said. There are 600 one-time-use codes.

“You go into your Lyft account, you go to payments, and you can do this right now," Kolkovich explained. "Type in the code: arrivealivejuly4. Get a few bucks on your account you can use to get anywhere in Summit County to any place else in Summit County.”

About 90 people have already deposited the credit into their accounts, according to Kolkovich. In past years the program has been very popular, he said.

“Over 3,000 people have taken advantage of this program since we started it," he said.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 11 people died in car accidents due to alcohol or drugs during last year’s 4th of July reporting period. Drunk driving statistics tend to tick up over holiday weekends, Kolkovich said.

“There are 28 alcohol-related deaths in the country a day, so you’re looking at what? More than one an hour? And we see an uptick of alcohol-related traffic incidents over holiday weekends," Kolkovich said.

In a press release, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh urged residents not to drink and drive.

"I don’t want those celebrations to turn tragic. My hope is that people use Arrive Alive to get home safely and not put innocent lives at risk," Walsh said. “If you have an adult beverage, please don’t get behind the wheel."

Summit County Sheriff Kandy Fatheree warned that her deputies and other area law enforcement will be out in full force on the 4th of July.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.