The Sacramento Police Department has turned one of its patrol cars into a half cab/half cop car to remind people not to drink and drive.
The back half of the car is taxicab yellow, while the front is black and white with lights and a siren.
Sergeant Chris Prince says it is a fully-functional police car but will be used primarily for education.
"We're trying to send out this really huge, visual message. Because, I'll tell you what, I just came from driving from Old Sac and all you see is rubbernecks looking at that car. And that's the whole point of it. The car is designed to say, 'You are in command of picking which way you get home. You can go with me and it could cost you $10,000 or you could pay for a cab or Uber, a Lyft or whatever it might be and get home cheaply.'"
The California Office of Traffic Safety and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided the grant for the car and officers to take it to DUI checkpoints and teen driver training.
Prince says the car will be used as an educational tool including tonight when officers will go to bars and restaurants as part of the "Know your limit program."
"During that time, we go in and make contact with patrons who seem to be enjoying themselves and having a good time and having few drinks. And, the whole premise for our contact is that they have a safe ride home and that they've planned ahead."
New Year's Driving Alternatives
AAA's Tipsy Taxi - Avoid a trip in a cop car by calling 800-222-4357 (AAA-HELP) for a free tow home of up to ten miles. This service is open to everyone, not just AAA members.
Public Transportation - Sacramento's Regional Transit is extending operating hours of both the Blue and Gold light rail lines to accomodate New Year's riders. Trains to Watt/1-80 on the Blue line leaves St. Rose Lima Park Station at 12:32 and 12:45 a.m. Service to Sunrise on the Gold line leaves 7th and K street at 12:30 and 12:45 a.m. Trains to Folsom leave downtown at 12:30 and 12:45 p.m.
Uber, Lyft or conventional taxi - New Year's is a pretty popular night to be out on the town, beware of surge pricing on Lyft and Ubers, you never have to worry about surge pricing with conventional taxis. This holiday Uber is donating $10 from every ride given to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
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