A Massachusetts town is offering free rides and tows to curb drunk driving during holidays

CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Police and a local towing business are teaming up this holiday season to provide free rides and tows to people under the influence with no way to get themselves and their cars home safely.

Christopher Ferreira, of Christopher’s Towing, has seen enough crashes to want to do his part to prevent tragedy on the roads.

“I’ve seen a lot of accidents that involve adults, some accidents that involve kids, from drunk driving,” Ferreira said. “I’ve seen a lot of bad situations, and it really sticks with you your whole entire life.”

When Chelmsford police approached him in 2015 and proposed the “Tow Drunk to Drive” initiative, Ferreira immediately got on board.

Now in its eighth year, and becoming more popular each year, the program runs from Nov. 22 – the day before Thanksgiving and one of the biggest drinking nights of the year – through New Year’s Day, 2024.

Christopher’s Towing will provide a lift and a tow at any time of day to anyone under the influence at a private residence or business in Chelmsford and bring them back home anywhere in the Merrimack Valley, as long as the vehicle is operable.

“Sometimes people, when they go out, they don’t plan to have too much to much to drink, but they find themselves in a situation where they’ve had a little too much to drink and they’re afraid, they don’t want to leave their car,” Ferreira said. “So, they might take the chance to drive home and take the car. And we’re here to probably help them and stop that and give them an option, so they don’t take that ride home.”

Chelmsford Police Lt. Frank Goode told Boston 25 News anyone who needs a ride can call Christopher’s Towing directly at 978-452-7433 or Chelmsford police at 978-256-2521, and they will coordinate a lift, no questions asked.

Over his many years in law enforcement, Goode has seen an uptick in drunk driving incidents each holiday.

“This initiative, you know, it allows us to maybe stop a mistake turning into a criminal charge or even worse, bodily injury accident, or – God forbid – a death,” Goode said. “You get behind the wheel, you’re intoxicated, God forbid an accident, you hurt yourself, you hurt others. Is there anything worse than that? I think we can all agree, if this initiative stops that, helps prevent that – harm to families, harm to all individuals – I think we can all agree that’s a win.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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