Recruiting Local Lyft Drivers

In an effort to address the community effects of social determinants of health and lacking public transportation, the Forest County Tavern League and Lyft, inc. are teaming up to create a SafeRide Program with the assistance of Forest County Health Department.  As you may know, Lyft is a ride sharing company that employs local individuals to provide taxi service through their App. 

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available in the entire state of Wisconsin. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities. 

Starting this fall, individuals will be able to take a Lyft home from a tavern that is a part of the Forest County Tavern League at no cost to the patron.  The Tavern League of Wisconsin and members are proud to serve our community. One of the top priorities is to keep our patrons safe. That is why they offer the SafeRide program. The goal of SafeRide is to eliminate drunk driving on Wisconsin’s roadways. As always, we encourage you to drink responsibly. However, if you feel like you’ve had too much to drink, ask your bartender if their establishment is a Tavern League member offering the SafeRide program.

Thanks in part to the SafeRide program, Wisconsin has witnessed a 28% decline in OWI convictions since 2004 and nearly a 50% decline in alcohol related fatalities since 2003. During that same period, the number of SafeRides provided increased 150%, while expanding operations to 64 Wisconsin counties.

The cost of the program last year was nearly $1,000,000. The program is partially funded by a surcharge on OWI convictions, and the rest is paid by Tavern League members. “It’s not a good idea to drive impaired. Our SafeRide program gives an alternative that is safe and it is free to our customers” says TLW President Chris Marsicano.

Last year, Tavern League members provided more than 91,000 SafeRides to their patrons.

This program can only be successful if we have a large number of Lyft drivers in Forest County, so if you are interested in this side hustle go to https://www.lyft.com/ to become a driver! Being a Lyft driver allows for flexibility, since you make your own hours.  For more information, call 715-478-3371.  

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Underage Drinking is Not Risk Free

According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism the use of alcohol by people under the age of 21 is unsafe, unhealthy, and unacceptable. This is a problem that needs to be addressed by communities across Wisconsin, now, to assure that our youth reach their full potential in life.

Alcohol is unsafe because it is a factor in the deaths of more than 4,300 youth and young adults every year in the United States. This is broken down as: 1,580 deaths from motor vehicle crashes, 1,269 homicides, 492 suicides, and 245 from alcohol poisoning, falls, burns, and drownings. 

Alcohol use by this age group is unhealthy because the brain is still developing and is not complete until a person is well into their 20’s. Alcohol can alter brain development. Youth and young persons who drink are more likely to have behavioral issues in school that result in poor academic performance, suspensions, and expulsions. People who start drinking before the age of 15 are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder later in life.

Alcohol use by underage people is unacceptable. A person under the age of 21 caught drinking alcohol and or buying or trying to buy alcohol may be fined up to $500.00. First time offenders also face a suspension of their driver’s license. Adults may be fined up to $500.00 for failing to stop underage drinking, and they also may be fined up to $500.00 for illegally providing alcohol to people under the age of 21.

There are many ways a community can prevent underage drinking. One strategy is to address the acceptability, availability, attractiveness, and affordability of alcohol in the home and in the community. Don’t make alcohol part of everyday living. Don’t have alcohol available to underage people. Don’t advertise alcohol products where youth and young adults can easily see it. To make it less affordable, encourage business owners to discontinue “buy one, get one free” offers and similar pricing promotions.

Our youth are our future. As a community it is up to us to try to instill good values and provide positive role models for or youth to look up to.  There has never been a more important time than now to try to make changes to ensure a bright future for our youth.   


For more information about underage drinking call the Forest County Health Department. For more statistics go to https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/underage-drinking

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