MONTREAL - Operation Nez Rouge has put the car keys on the shelf for another year.

For 29 years the service has aimed to keep drunks from taking the wheel over the holiday period and this season managed to record slightly-higher numbers than the year prior.

Organizer Jean-Marie De Koninck expressed appreciation to the 44,186 volunteer drivers who gave 65,391 lifts, up from about 63,000 a year earlier.

The drivers not only ferried partygoers safely, they also raised $1.5 million in donations to be directed to youth projects.

De Koninck said Thursday that drivers had to deal with some difficult, snowy conditions this year but said that “many beautiful stories,” resulted from the effort.

He also emphasized that Operation Nez Rouge is not a public service, nor a business, but a free service to the community, by the community.

-With a file from The Canadian Press