Nearly 6,000 Nez Rouge rides on opening weekend

It was a busy first weekend for the volunteers at Nez Rouge.

In all, more than 4,600 volunteers offered 5,885 safe rides home to holiday revelers during the first two nights of the 2018 campaign.

The busiest region was Quebec City-Levis, where 560 lifts were requested. There was a tie for the second most needed area, with 239 rides in both Sherbrooke and Laval-Lower Laurentians.

Montreal was a little quieter, with 168 free lifts provided.

Now in its 35th year, Nez Rouge has expanded to 102 communities, including 63 in Quebec, across six provinces.

Organizers say that you don't need to be drunk for the service to drive you home. Anyone who believes they are not in the proper state of mind to drive home is encouraged to give Nez Rouge a call.

Those who have had a little too much holiday cheer can call 1-866-DESJARDINS (1-866-337-5273) or use the Nez Rouge app on iPhone or Android to get a ride home.

The free designated driver service collects donations, about $1.5 million each year, and will offer rides home each night until the New Year.

Since last Thursday provincial and municipal police, along with the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), have been setting up road checkpoints to catch impaired motorists before they hurt anyone. The road blocks will be a regular thing every night until January 3. 

More than 800 vehicles were stopped in Montreal near the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, no one was arrested.