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Program to Offer Drivers Non-Alcohol Free Drinks : Prevention: Twenty bars and restaurants have agreed to participate in the joint effort to lessen holiday drinking.

November 23, 1989

Designated drivers for groups of people can celebrate the holidays in Ventura County with free drinks--free non-alcoholic drinks, that is.

Restaurants and bars involved in the Ventura County Designated Driver Program, which began Wednesday, will provide free non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers as part of a joint effort by law enforcement agencies, community organizations and businesses, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria).

"This program's key is prevention," O'Connell said. "It's not after the fact."

So far, 20 restaurants and bars, which will absorb all costs, have signed up. An establishment can be identified as a participant by a poster hanging inside the building's entrance.

O'Connell said Orange County and Santa Barbara County have similar programs. He said Santa Barbara's program started in June, 1988, with 12 members and has grown to 50. Alcohol-related collisions have dropped 11% in that time, although those statistics are not directly related to the program, O'Connell said.

County establishments in the program are: Bombay Bar and Grill in Ventura, Doubletree Hotel in Ventura, Holiday Inn in Ventura, Shakey's Pizza in Ventura and Simi Valley, Tony's Steak and Seafood in Ventura, Garfield's Bar and Grill in Ventura, Hornblower's in Ventura, Hungry Hunter in Ventura and Thousand Oaks, The Peppermill in Santa Paula, Seafood Parlor and Saloon in Camarillo, Oxnard and Thousand Oaks, Azar's Red Robin Restaurant in Newbury Park, Cisco's Mexican Restaurant in Westlake Village, Jessie Cate's Restaurant in Thousand Oaks and Yolanda's in Ventura and Oxnard.

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