MONTPELIER, Vt. – Thirteen months after being arrested for drunken driving, many people would be trying to forget about it. But when you’re an elected official like Vermont Auditor Tom Salmon, you go to the far end of the state on New Year’s Eve and volunteer for a van pool driving drunks home.

Salmon said he will travel Friday from his home in the northeastern Vermont town of St. Johnsbury to Bennington in the state’s southwest to participate in the second year of Bennington County Sheriff Chad Schmidt’s program to organize a fleet of vans, taxis and, if need be, cruisers, to ferry revelers home — or even from bar to bar — if they’ve been drinking.

“It’s an opportunity to try to turn a negative into a positive,” Salmon said Tuesday. “And yes, it’s part of my reputational restoration.”

Schmidt said he and his fellow drivers would be glad to have the extra help.

Schmidt said last year’s Bennington County effort, operated in partnership with the local taxi company and with donations from local businesses, gave rides to about 300 partiers.

A state trooper stopped Salmon, 47, for failing to signal when turning in Montpelier in November 2009.

A police video released nearly a year later after a public-records suit by a backer of Salmon’s re-election rival shows the trooper administering field sobriety tests. Salmon tells the trooper he is the state auditor and later apologizes for doing so.

He recorded a 0.095 blood-alcohol content in a roadside breath test. Police later recorded him with a level of 0.086 and used that in court. The legal limit is 0.08.

Salmon pleaded guilty to drunken driving. He paid a $500 fine and $376 in court costs.

He also attended a weekend-long counseling program administered by the state Health Department and has had monthly follow-up counseling sessions since then, he said.