Sober Drivers in the Capitol
When most people are out celebrating on New Year's Eve, Santiago Herrera is busy at work. Herrera is a driver for the Checkers Cab Company that teams with the Jefferson City Police Department to offer free rides to those who have had too much to drink.
"We're glad to do it," said Herrera. "In my case I'm real glad because myself personally, I hate to see people drink and drive. Being as I'm not a drinker myself and what do you call, we have a lot of families out there that are also traveling you know. If we can prevent anybody from getting hurt that's what we're about."
The drivers volunteer their time to provide free cab rides to bar patrons as well as individuals attending private parties. Jefferson City bar owner Allen Tatman thinks the program is a great idea.
"It's responsible to offer patrons and the general public an alternative and this gives our responsible patrons an alternative to having to try to find somebody to get them home, or in the case of irresponsible people, it keeps them from drinking and driving," said Tatman.
The service is year round, and more than 50 people used the service during the New Year's holiday last year. Columbia currently does not have a sober driver program so Columbia residents wanting to utilize the service will have to spend New Year's Eve in the capitol.
Cab drivers will only take riders directly to their home or hotel, not to another party. To use the service people must obtain a ticket to get a free ride.