Volunteers offering free rides on St. Patrick's Day

Donations to benefit victims of fatal Orcutt crash

Video: Volunteers offering free rides on St. Patrick's Day

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As Rooney's Irish Pub in Orcutt gets ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, they have one thing on their mind and that's safety. 

"We want to do everything in our power to get people home safely," says Ashlyn Rooney, co-owner. 

They're teaming up with a group of volunteers in the Santa Maria and Orcutt area who will give rides to those drinking it up. 

"It's really to heighten the awareness of drinking and driving," says Monique Nichols, who is helping to coordinate this. 

She recently lost two good friends in an alleged drinking and driving accident that happened last month in Orcutt.  Any donations people give to drivers will be going to their family. 

"It's amazing to see the outpouring of support from our local community in sight of the tragedies that happened," she says. 

She says about a dozen people have signed up to volunteer. They will be offering people rides during the day, evening and night. 

Organizers say on St. Patrick's Day people don't even have to get into their car to go out to celebrate they are willing to pick them up in their own car and take you wherever they want to go.

"We have a number that everyone in Santa Maria and Orcutt can call," she says.  

To get that number, Nichols say it's as easy as asking your bartender for it.

"The Rooney's here are actually offering additional donations in the amount that people give who are taking advantage of our free rides," she says. 

The celebration at Rooney's starts at 6 a.m. 

Organizers say they'll be helping to keep an eye on people and offer this service to them if they need it.

"We encourage everyone to come out and have fun with us but we want them to get home to their families at the end of the day." says Rooney. 

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