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Can Pancakes Prevent Drunk Driving?

A Nebraska non-profit lures drunk drivers off the road with the promise of free breakfast.

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By Valerie Tejeda

10/26/12

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Cholesterol count aside, pancakes and bacon could be a lifesaver. This is the hope of Great Adventure Ministries, a non-profit religious organization in Omaha, Nebraska that offers up free breakfasts in exchange for car keys at a popular bar. The aim is to sober up inebriated patrons before they get on the road during Halloween weekend—a time of year that usually sees a spike in boozing and subsequent auto-accidents. The free food tends to elicit skepticism at first, with many asking "What's the catch?" says Chad Peterson, the non-prof's director. But then “they walk down into this basement and they start making some friends and they see it’s really just pancakes and bacon.” He explains that the hearty meals—dished out between midnight and 3 am—stop people getting on the road right away, and so offer "a chance to help people make wise decisions.” Last year, nearly 167 people stopped for the free breakfast. “I haven't heard of anything like this in the city so far,” says Katilynn Kotcka, who serves on the leadership team. “So I think it's pretty awesome we're doing this.” The organization believes the efforts are worthwhile, whether they save one life or 100. Peterson adds, “I know that they might not make it home if they didn't have a few minutes to take a break.” 

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