Taxi vouchers program aims to keep St. Patrick’s Day revelers off the road

First of all, happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Secondly, here’s a great article for you about how you should run your taxi business on holidays like St. Pat’s:

Public-safety officials are asking bartenders to hand out cab vouchers instead of pouring another drink for drunken revelers this St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The Central Ohio Safe Ride program has donated 500 taxi vouchers to 50 bars and pubs in the region. The $10 vouchers can be used toward a cab ride with one of three taxi companies.

“A big part of what we want is for the community to get behind supporting itself and looking out for itself,” said Karisa Harvey, injury-prevention program manager with the city of Columbus. “A lot of people are going to go out and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but people need to take care of each other.”

This will be the first time the Safe Ride program has handed out vouchers for St. Patrick’s Day, Harvey said.

More than 700 Americans died in alcohol-related crashes at the time of St. Patrick’s Day between 2006 and 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says.

Safe Ride started during St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 2008 with two area pubs; it has grown into a year-round program with more than 20 member establishments. The program is organized by the city of Columbus and the OhioHealth Foundation, with support from the Franklin County DUI Task Force and Ohio State University.The program adds a voucher for every one bought by a member bar or pub.

Bartenders are asked to stop serving customers who have had too much to drink and provide them with a voucher, Harvey said.

“People are more receptive to that than just being cut off,” she said. “It’s a nice way to still be good to your patrons, and you still look after them.”

Vouchers can be used with German Village Taxi, Shamrock Taxi and Yellow Cab of Columbus.

The State Highway Patrol said it made 215 drunken-driving arrests on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, and five of the six people who died in auto accidents that day were killed by impaired drivers.

The patrol is working with local law-enforcement offices across the state to set up 15 sobriety checkpoints that will be funded by federal grants.

More than 2,100 hours of enforcement activity and 1,900 hours of patrols are planned over the weekend, the patrol said.

Article source: The Columbus Dispatch

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