Taxi programs available for holiday revelers

Posted at: 11/19/2012 5:59 PM
Updated at: 11/19/2012 6:13 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Thanksgiving week is one of the deadliest of the year for car accidents, with one of the highest drunk driving rates.

Agencies in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties revealed their plans to help stem drunk driving through the holidays.

Both counties are working with cab companies to make it so inexpensive to take a cab that people who are drunk will not have a reason to get behind the wheel.

Just $1 will pay for a cab ride home from any restaurant, bar or party in Santa Fe, and in Bernalillo County, a ride is free.

"It makes me feel really good when somebody thanks you for getting them home safe," David Knowles, a cab driver for Capital City Cab, said.

Knowles knows first-hand how much of a difference his job makes.

"As a cab driver, you see a lot of things on the road while you're driving, we see those people who don't call a cab who are most likely intoxicated behind the wheel," Knowles said.

Starting this weekend, $1 will pay for a safe ride home from Knowles or any Capital City Cab driver, a new initiative funded by the Santa Fe DWI program.

"We'll pick you up at a liquor establishment or at a home, so if you've been drinking at a house party, we'll pick you up there too, and you gotta go home, you can't go from liquor establishment to liquor establishment," Lupe Sanchez, DWI program coordinator, said.

Marble Brewery on the Plaza is one of the first to team up with authorities and advertise the new campaign.

"Last winter, a young woman, she came in here intoxicated, she couldn't leave, she had nobody to help her get home, so I called a cab. I actually carried her down the stairs, sat her in the cab, and gave the driver 40 bucks and said, get her home safely," Justin Svetnicka, general manager of Marble Brewery, said.

In Bernalillo County, a cab ride to and from a restaurant or bar is free of charge. 

The "Tavern Taxi Program" applies for all holidays, in addition to Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

Since last year, more than 2,800 people have used the service.

Both programs are intended to reduce the number of drunks on the road.

"We don't want to see another life lost, we don't want to see somebody injured," Santa Fe Police Captain Aric Wheeler said.  "We'd much rather people get a safe ride home."

For Bernalillo County's Tavern Taxi program, click here

For Santa Fe County's CADDy Program, click here