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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

San Antonio’s Fiesta: Providing Free Cab Rides

In San Antonio, April means one thing: Fiesta is just around the corner. The annual Fiesta is an 11-day party with food, carnivals, music, parades, entertainment and other events that see a yearly number of approximately 3.5 million people. Once the fireworks go off at Fort Sam Houston, the big party begins.

Since some of these events involve alcohol, there is a great risk for drunk driving. Six people were killed in four alcohol-related crashes during the celebration last year. It is a serious issue that sometimes serves as the ugly dark side of the joyous festivities. To prevent this, the Texas Department of Transportation has teamed up with several local businesses to offer free cab rides to Fiesta goers.

Last year they provided over 700 free cab rides. This year they hope to hit 1,000.

Not that it would require drivers to wait until Fiesta to plan out sober rides when they go out drinking --- this only serves to reinforce the message that, if you plan to drink and have a good time, you should never get behind the wheel.

There are tons of designated driver services out there that one might get in touch with, should they plan on having a fun night out. The cost for these services is surely nothing compared to the value of safety.

So if you’re in San Antonio from April 7 to the 17th, enjoy the food, carnivals, music, parades and the cascarones. (http://www.san-antonio-family-fun.com/fiestacascarones.html) Just make sure you avail of the free cab ride when going home.

Additionally, as an added layer of safety, the Bexar County District Attorney's Office will implement a "no refusal" period during the entire duration of Fiesta. It means when a driver is suspected of driving under the influence and that driver refuses to cooperate with police, blood will be drawn.

Learn more about technology to prevent drunk driving at the National Safety Commission.

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