PA Senator: Come on and Take a Free Ride (Instead of Driving Drunk)

By:

In the past 30 years, DUI and drunk driving awareness has increased significantly, thanks in part to the educational efforts of groups like MADD. But today, even though every state in the Union outlines serious penalties for those convicted of driving with a BAC of .08% or greater, drunk driving continues to be a problem in the United States.

To combat the often deadly effects of driving under the influence, Pennsylvania State Senator Stewart Greenleaf has decided to take action.

According to Phillyburbs.com, Greenleaf has developed SafeRide Home, a program that would provide those who have had too much to drink an alternative to driving home while intoxicated. Though the details of Greenleaf's program have not yet been developed, he's reportedly looking to Aspen, Colorado for inspiration.

Aspen's program, called Tipsy Taxi, has been serving the community since 1983, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website. Using only donations (translation: no tax dollars), Tipsy Taxi provides free taxi rides for those who have had too much to drink while out at restaurants and bars.

The program works based on a voucher system, which allows bartenders to recommend patrons for rides or accept patron requests. No permanent records are kept, which allows Tipsy Taxi to run in complete confidence. Plus, the Aspen police department has agreed to waive any towing fees a driver accrues overnight because of leaving a car behind.

The various elements of the Tipsy Taxi program also serve to enhance police enforcement of those who are suspected of driving under the influence. According to the NHTSA, arresting officers are unlikely to "go easy" on those suspected of DUI, since those drivers had an easy, safe and free option they chose to ignore.

Tipsy Taxi has apparently flourished in Aspen, where education about drunk driving has helped convince community members that donating to the program is much less expensive than potentially being hit by a drunk driver or facing DUI charges.

Evidently, current Pennsylvania efforts to curb DUI violations are not working: sources indicate that alcohol plays a role in 13,000 Pennsylvania car crashes each year. And 36% of all traffic deaths involve alcohol, according to the Department of Transportation.

So far, Greenleaf has suggested funding the SafeRide Home program with money from liquor license purchases, which can cost up to $225,000 in the districts he represents. He apparently believes that the costs of running SafeRide Home would be significantly less than those of prosecuting and penalizing people of DUI. And of course, the program could be instrumental in preventing DUI fatalities.

Greenleaf is quoted on Phillyburbs.com as noting that measures like lowering the legal BAC limit and ratcheting up enforcement have proved ineffective at addressing the overall problem of intoxicated driving in the state. It's time to try something new, in the Senator's opinion, and SafeRide Home seems to be his proposed solution.

As of now, news sources have not indicated whether not those who used SafeRide would have to pay for the service.


» Back to DUI Articles

PAID ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT: THIS WEB SITE IS A GROUP ADVERTISEMENT AND THE PARTICIPATING ATTORNEYS ARE INCLUDED BECAUSE THEY PAY AN ADVERTISING FEE. It is not a lawyer referral service or prepaid legal services plan. Total DUI is not a law firm.  Your request for contact will be forwarded to the local lawyer who has paid to advertise in the ZIP code you provide. Total DUI does not endorse or recommend any lawyer or law firm who participates in the network nor does it analyze a person's legal situation when determining which participating lawyers receive a person's inquiry. It does not make any representation and has not made any judgment as to the qualifications, expertise or credentials of any participating lawyer. The information contained herein is not legal advice. No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Any information you submit to Total DUI does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not use the form to submit confidential, time-sensitive, or privileged information. All photos are of models and do not depict clients. All case evaluations are performed by participating attorneys. An attorney responsible for the content of this Site is Kevin W. Chern, Esq., licensed in Illinois with offices at 25 East Washington, Suite 400, Chicago, Illinois 60602. To see the attorney in your area who is responsible for this advertisement, please click here or call 866-200-8052.

FLORIDA ONLY: Total DUI is considered a lawyer referral service in the state of Florida under the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct. By all other standards, Total DUI is a group advertisement and not a lawyer referral service.

If you live in Mississippi, Missouri, New York or Wyoming, please click here for additional information.