Free Uber Rides Offered in Arizona to Reduce Holiday Drunk Driving

Uber is offering free rides to new customers in Arizona this holiday season to cut down on drunk driving and related car crashes.

The company joined with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in announcing the program today. County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he wants "to leverage Uber's innovative ride-sharing model to make it easier for people to make the smart choice" in driving between holiday parties.

The company already has received a boost this year in Arizona from Montgomery's political ally and fellow Republican, Governor Doug Ducey, whose first major action in office was to lift enforcement actions against Uber and other ride-sharing companies. Last month, Ducey announced on Twitter that he backed a plan to allow Uber drivers to perform services at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Uber is "thrilled" to partner with both Montgomery's office and the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to reduce driving under the influence, said Steve Thompson, Uber general manager in Arizona.

The holiday freebie is available to all new Uber users in Arizona, officials said. Users must download the Uber app to their phones, then register for the service and enter the promo code FREETRIP. That'll give each ride-seeker a $20 in credit, which the company claims is enough to cover most trips requested in the Phoenix metro area.

Uber also vows to donate five bucks to MADD for each new rider who takes advantage of the deal. Anyone who's used Uber in the past doesn't qualify but instead can enter a contest to win up to $100 in prizes.

The cost of the holiday program and donations are funded by Uber, says Jerry Cobb, Montgomery's spokesman. The County Attorney's Office will pay for some radio ads to help promote the offer as part of its annual "Save Lives, Don't DUI" campaign and also will advertise it on social media.