A 501c3 nonprofit charity with two sober drivers per team
It was quickly realized that this safe ride service needed to be free (many intoxicated people didn’t want to go home until they were out of money) and that we needed to get their cars home too (no I wouldn’t leave my car behind as I need it in the morning!) . Therefore the Good Sam plan (IGS) was to start a 501c3 nonprofit charity (donations accepted) and provide two sober drivers per team, one driver to follow the other IGS driver in the intoxicated driver's car along with the intoxicated person and all their friends to point the way home (not always easy but always free!).
Many regulations and much attention was given to this new safe ride start-up program, and many bars, their patrons, and the police watched to see what was going to happen with this new idea.
Miracle of miracles! The Program worked! During the first 10 years of service more than 50,000 carefully documented safe rides were given to intoxicated drivers and their intoxicated passengers, and their cars were safely delivered home by a small group of dedicated sober (My turn to drink, Your turn to drive) volunteers. For the first time in Tahoe history, DUI deaths and DUI crashes decreased as reported by the South Tahoe Police Dept.
Now For The FUN part of this story! In order to keep these safe rides free, IGS decided to host an annual fundraiser based on the 50’s life style and 50’s cars and call it Cool September Days Car, Truck, Motorcycle and Vintage Camper Show. Along with an old car show, IGS would put on a 50’s style Sock Hop with dance, dress-up and hairdo contests and at mid-night at the Hop as a grand prize IGS would give away a locally donated and restored old car on a $1 raffle ticket.
A lot of things have changed over the past 30 years but the Good Samaritans Safe Ride Program is still alive and well in Tahoe and the 30th annual Cool September Days Car Show was held at the South Lake Tahoe Heavenly Village shopping center on September 18-20, 2015.
Over the 30 years of this safe ride programs history, many different cars, trucks, and motorcycles have been located, donated, and restored to be used in IGS’ fundraiser raffles, from a 1953 Buick Special in 1986, to a 500hp Ford PU and new Harley in 2002, to a grand prize of a 1953 Chevy Sedan Delivery with a new teardrop trailer all set up to go camping in 2010.
IGS volunteers would like to invite everyone with an interest in vintage cars and/or campers or motorcycles to come to Lake Tahoe for the day or for one of our weekend shows at the Heavenly Village Shopping Center (near the Gondola).
To date, more than 100,000 intoxicated drivers and their friends have been delivered safely home in the Tahoe area and much effort has been made to help start safe ride programs in other cities all around America. Many lives have been saved and many millions of dollars of damage has been avoided thanks to your generous donations for raffle tickets or when you attend one of our Car Shows.