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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Cats RIDDE to resume business after weekend break

    Finding a ride home after being out late Saturday nights will become a little easier after Thanksgiving break.

    Cats Realizing the Importance of a Designated Driving Escort (Cats RIDDE), a student run organization that aims to provide a free designated driving service to students on the weekends, will begin operating Dec. 2, said Jami Reinsch, administrative vice president for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona.

    The service, which is self-funded with a $4,000 budget, will operate Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m., said Reinsch, a fine arts junior.

    “”This money came from various sponsorships

    The ultimate goal for both Cats RIDDE and Safe Ride this year is not to just give rides, but also be strong advocates of safety on our campus

    – Jami Reinsch,
    ASUA vice president

    last year, and we are currently in the process of looking for more funds from local businesses,”” Reinsch said. “”The only money it sees from ASUA is for the director stipend.””

    Although Cats RIDDE will pick up students from bars, individuals do not have to be 21 to use the service or be intoxicated. In order to use the service, students must fill out and turn in a waiver form to the ASUA office, which can be downloaded off the ASUA Web site.

    Students who are picked up will only be taken home – not to another bar or party. Students will be allowed to bring two guests with them, according to the Web site.

    There is one director and several volunteers that make up Cats RIDDE, Reinsch said.

    The organization is limited to an immediate area surrounding campus, stretching from North Stone Avenue to North Tucson Boulevard, and East Broadway Boulevard to East Grant Road, according to the Web site.

    Cats RIDDE has not been operating this semester so far, but information about the organization will be presented Nov. 29 at a kick-off on the UA Mall, Reinsch said.

    In the evening, there will be a safety seminar that will include Safe Ride – which operates on weekdays – the University of Arizona Police Department, the Oasis Center and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

    There is no definitive number of waivers that have been turned in so far, but students are encouraged to do so as soon as possible, said Reinsch.

    “”The ultimate goal for both Cats RIDDE and Safe Ride this year is not to just give rides but also be strong advocates of safety on our campus,”” she said.

    Alana Thomas, a molecular and cellular biology senior, said student safety cannot be over-emphasized.

    “”In theory, it seems like a good idea because people will know that they can rely on someone to get them home safely who will not be intoxicated,”” Thomas said. “”However, they need to make themselves more visible to the campus community.””

    Brian Erly, an undeclared sophomore, said Cats RIDDE still has some loopholes that need to be given attention, such as the possibility of too many students needing a ride.

    “”Students will become impatient and perhaps drive home intoxicated or with someone else who has been drinking,”” Erly said. “”It will also be interesting to see what their policy is regarding transporting students who are under 21 and are intoxicated.””

    When students sign the Cats RIDDE waiver, they agree to not consume alcohol while in a Cats RIDDE vehicle. Cats RIDE drivers also reserve the right to notify UAPD or medical personnel if a passenger gets ill. Cats RIDDE does not ask students for their age.

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