NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoca Raton


New service steers drunken drivers off South Florida streets

SafeRide America can currently only be used in Boca Raton
Posted at 1:31 AM, Jan 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-31 01:31:15-05

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A new service to help keep impaired drivers off the road is now available on select nights in Boca Raton.

"Basically, you'll have a driver come and drive your car and you home as well," said Preston Wachtell, whose father was killed by a drunken driver. "Basically, the driver will ensure that your car and you get home safely."

Steven Chase said he started SafeRide America 11 years ago in Atlanta.

Chase said he and Wachtell decided to help bring the nonprofit to South Florida after Preston's father was killed by an impaired driver in a head-on collision one year ago.

"Incredible human being. He was a special person," said Chase. "He was larger than life."

Wachtell said the driver who hit his father's car shouldn't had been driving.

"The driver's (blood-alcohol content) was around two to three times over the legal limit and driving completely on the other side of the road," said Wachtell.

"I want to be there for his family, be there for him and do something proactive to stop this madness," said Chase.

Chase said every 51 minutes, one person in the United States is killed by an impaired driver.

"Not only is it preventable, but we want to make sure, we want to put people in positions where they can go out and have a good time but don't risk someone's life just to get a buzz on," said Wachtell.

Drivers can be booked through either the SafeRide America website or mobile app.

Chase said, as of right now, the service is only available on the weekends in Boca Raton.

"We only charge around $2 per minute for the service," said Chase. "There's no surcharge, no waiting fee."

Chase said he's hoping to expand the service to as many as six new Florida cities next month and to save more lives.

"We could stop somebody from killing somebody else or hurting somebody else," said Chase.