Saturday, December 29 2012, 04:08 AM CST
Free cab rides on New Year's Eve could save you a DUII
MEDFORD, Ore.-Medford Police encourages drivers to take advantage of free local transportation services if they are intoxicated on New Year's Eve.
Lt. Curtis Whipple with Medford Police Department says, "We're very adamant on arresting the intoxicated drivers."
Medford Police will take part in a DUII saturation patrol, along with Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and other law-enforcement agencies in the Rogue Valley.
If caught driving under the influence, police will show no mercy.
"If you drive intoxicated that night, your options will be to get arrested, put in the back of a police car, be taken to a location where [you] blow in an Intoxilyzer and then subsequently be taken to jail," says Lt. Whipple.
Jail fines, attorney and other DUII-related fees, can add up to $10,000 and your license can be taken away for 90 days for first-time offenders and up to one year for second-time offenders.
You do have another option before jumping behind the wheel after having too much to drink.
"When I started my own cab company, I decided that I would give free rides home on New Year's," says 5 Star Taxi owner, Alex Barge.
Barge saw a car crash, head-on, into a pole around New Year's Eve, three years ago.
The driver was intoxicated.
"I sat in the car with the guy until he basically passed away that night," recalls Barge.
Barge felt the need to do something to keep this from happening to others.
He does not charge his drivers leases or fees on New Year's Eve night, and his drivers only work for tips.
Other recent inspiration from tragedy for 5 Star Taxi came from the unsolved murder of Valley Cab driver, William Huson.
"5 Star has taken on a lot of safety precautions starting about three months ago when a lot of things started going down," says Vice President of 5 Star Taxi, Lief Barge.
Medford Police says it is unlikely Huson's murderer will strike on New Year's Eve.
"That did occur on Oct. 21. It was a Saturday night, but there's nothing to suggest that this killer--if he's even still around--is gonna be any more likely to strike on New Year's Eve or any other time," says Lt. Mike Budreau with Medford Police Department.
5 Star Taxi says it prepares for what may come that night for one reason.
"It's for the safety, not just for our drivers, but also for the public," says Lief Barge.
5 Star Taxi service can be contacted at 541.245.5555.
It suggests people call about 20 minutes ahead of pick-up time.
The cab company will service the Rogue Valley that night, excluding Ashland, due to some permit restrictions.
Dick's Towing in Medford will also be providing free transportation and towing on New Year's Eve.
The towing company says to call it at 541.772.4040 an hour ahead of time because it will be a busy night.