The Halloween sugar high lingers but the holiday party season has already begun with the official kickoff yesterday of Operation Red Nose — a volunteer program that sees revellers and their cars safely home after a night on the town.

Many people say the reason they risk driving home after drinking is because they don’t want to leave their cars behind.

Operation Red Nose volunteers travel in groups of three, escorting the partier and pulling his or her vehicle right into the driveway, all for free.

Red Nose volunteers, many corporate groups and in some cases local politicians, take calls to escort people home from about 7 p.m. to 2 or 3 a.m. during the holiday season. The phone numbers and dates the service is available are listed on the Ontario Safety League’s website.

Red Nose operates in 12 Ontario communities including Bolton, Brampton, Burlington, Newmarket and Aurora in the Toronto area. Most programs run in towns where local bus services and taxis are limited.

This year the Red Nose mascot, Rudy the reindeer, will also be riding the Rocket to heighten awareness that transit is the better way when you’ve been celebrating, said Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League, which runs the program with the Insurance Bureau of Canada and other partners.