Nursing Student Offers Free Rides for Would-be Drunk Drivers
Realizing she cannot keep people from drinking, a Lufkin nursing student has hit on a way to keep people from drinking and driving. She drives them home for free.
Despite her young age and her busy schedule as a vocational nursing student at Angelina College, 18 year old Jessica Johnson couldn’t resist the calling to become a designated driver, available to anyone at any time – day and night.
After one of her friends was killed in a drunk driving accident in February, Johnson says she decided to start a designated driving program for Lufkin residents who need a ride home after having too many drinks.
She calls her program “Last Call,” and it’s available free of charge to anyone who has had too much to drink. Johnson has about 10 volunteers who help answer phone calls and pick up those in need of a ride.
There’s a program like this at Stephen F. Austin State University. It’s called Driving Jacks, and it was created after an SFA student was killed by a drunk driver in 2004. To date, Driving Jacks has made more than 12 thousand rides and turned in more than 19,000 volunteer hours to the President’s Volunteer Service Award program at SFA.
Jessica Johnson says Last Call is not a free taxi service for people who just need a way to get around town. It’s for people who’ve had too much to drink and need a safe ride home from wherever they are.
She stresses that “home” is the only acceptable destination. They will not drive someone from one party or bar to another.
Last Call operates 24 hours a day seven days a week. Their number is 676-6647.