At its Monday night meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a measure to endorse Safe Rides, the program in which Darien High School students voluntarily transport other youths who have been drinking on weekend nights.
The move brings the program into the fold of the Darien Youth Commission, a body which develops and coordinates many youth activities across town.
Town Administrator Karl Kilduff explained that the change would give Safe Rides a degree of official backing but that it would have little impact on the way the program operates.
"It will still run out of The Depot, it will still have a parent advisory board, but now, it is knitted into the town, whereas before it was not," Kilduff said.
"In the event of an accident, the individual driver's auto insurance is the primary coverage," Kilduff said. "The town would be involved in secondary coverage, assuming there weren't violations of rules, regulations, and policies."
Those policies include having a full shift on hand comprised of one parent, one student-officer, and four students. Each shift must have at least two cars, phone calls must be recorded, and volunteers must receive ride requests on the authorized line at The Depot rather than on cell phones.
Additionally, parents participate in an orientation that explains their commitments and responsibilities.
During Monday's discussion, selectmen reviewed the organization's minimum requirements to operate, agreeing that the student volunteers must uphold the rules they consented to when they joined the program.
Safe Rides parent advisory board member Joe Duwan appeared at the meeting to encourage the selectman to accept the motion.
Before the measure was approved, Selectman Jerry Nielsen described Safe Rides a wonderful program dating back to the early 1980s when he graduated from Darien High School.
Safe Rides can be reached at 203-655-6551.