Brewery Offering Free Uber Rides: More Than Just Good Business

ABQ bar offers free Uber ridesThey number some ten thousand every year, and over the years, into the millions: those who have died on the road at the hands of a drunk driver. They’re remembered in eulogies, on Facebook, and in roadside memorials. But a friend of some New Mexico DUI victims has decided to remember them by preventing more of these terrible incidents.

A little less than two years ago a drunk driver took the life of two brothers, Roberto and Sergio Mendez, and a co-worker of one of the brothers, Grace Sinfeld. A friend of the Mendez brothers, Gabriel Aragon, is doing his best to see that others don’t have to go through what he did or suffer the sad fate of his friends. He has started a program through his employer, ABQ Life, which has partnered with a local Albuquerque brewery, the SandBar Brewery and Grill, to offer free Uber rides to customers.

The essence of the partnership – help those who are drinking get home safely, by giving them an incentive to plan their evening.

Free Uber Rides Make Sober Driving an Easy Choice

To participate in the plan, called the Mendez Uber Program, a group of three or more people needs to use Uber to get to the restaurant. That’s the beauty of it: getting a rideshare to the drinking place means you’re not tempted to use your car at the end of a tipsy evening

Particpants show their Uber receipt to the server. At the end of the evening they receive a promo code good for $15 towards an Uber ride. As one news story notes, $15 will cover a lot of distance in the city.

Hopes are that the partnership offering free Uber rides will flourish and spread to other places all over Albuquerque.

What makes the Mendez Uber Program an especially effective tool in the fight against drunk driving is that it fosters good planning: you can only take advantage of the offer if you’ve already ditched your car before taking off for the brewery. If this program were widespread, it would begin to ingrain the habit in social drinkers to forget about driving during a night out. That makes the Mendez Uber Program as much a tool for behavior modification as a promotion for a nightspot. And as we all know, drinking before driving is one behavior that sorely needs to be modified.

Hats off to the Gabriel Aragon and the Mendez Uber Program for an idea that is destined to save some lives – possibly a good many lives – if enough places join the program.