What’s the deal with… 4-RIDE and alcohol

Whether you’re intoxicated and need a ride home or you’re just trying to get a quick ride back to campus with a bottle of booze in your backpack, 4-RIDE is prepared to deal with you.

University Police Department Chief Kevin Hay said the 4-RIDE drivers are trained to call an officer if a passenger is clearly intoxicated.

“If someone smells of alcohol, that’s not going to trigger anything, but if someone is falling down drunk then they’re probably going to call for an officer,” he said

In cases where a student is considered too intoxicated, the police chief says 4-RIDE drivers would, “call for an officer to come and check them out.” If the passenger is determined to be all right, the passenger would be allowed to take 4-RIDE home.

But 4-RIDE doesn’t only consider its inebriated passengers. The drivers must also take into account what the passengers are bringing into the cars – especially when it comes to alcohol.

“Essentially, you can bring [alcohol] on if you’re 21 and it’s a sealed container,” Hay said.

An open container of alcohol in a moving vehicle is against the law and will not be allowed in a 4-RIDE vehicle, but Hay says passengers who have a closed container and are of age may ride.

“As an example, if you were taking a bag of groceries home and you’re 21 and there’s a bottle… sticking out of the top, that’s not a problem,” Hay said.

While drivers are allowed to judge inebriation and offer rides to students with closed containers of alcohol, 4-RIDE is not a taxi service to and from bars.

“This isn’t about enabling drinking. It’s about a safe way of moving around campus,” Hay said. “The purpose of 4-RIDE is to provide a safe way home. It’s not to enable people to go out and drink.”

Shivan Sarna contributed to this article.

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