A Creative Approach to Reduce Drunken Driving

Many people guilty of drunken driving are alcoholic and need treatment. But many of those who drive home intoxicated from a restaurant or bar do so because they need their vehicle in the morning to get to work, their vehicle might be ticketed or towed if left overnight, or they fear the risk of theft or vandalism to their vehicle.

The state of Alaska has recently passed legislation that allows taxi companies to transport both an intoxicated patron and the patron’s vehicle safely home. The program is called “Off the Road,” and will be funded by government grants, corporate sponsors, bars, and restaurants.

The program is simple. Two taxis respond to a participating establishment’s call. One taxi driver takes the patron home and the other taxi driver takes the vehicle to the patron’s home. Then both taxi drivers return to collect the taxi left at the participating establishment. To encourage widespread use of this program, the cost to patrons is free.

The legislation was successfully promoted by Alaska House Representative Tom Anderson and a trade group, the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant & Retailers Association (Anchorage chapter). The latter will closely monitor the program to evaluate its success in reducing drunken driving.

 

Reference:

  • Pattee, John. Off the Road: A different approach to reduce drunk driving. Toast, 2004 (September/October), v. 20, p. 13.

filed under: Drinking and Driving

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