ROSEBURG, Ore. (KMTR) - A cab company offered special deals during Roseburg's Pub Crawl to encourage people not to drink and drive.
Roseburg DUII arrests did not increase over the St. Patrick's Day weekend - and many people think part of the reason can be attributed to lower taxi fares.
Elite Limousine and Taxi Services offered taxi and limo rides home within Roseburg city limits for $5 on Saturday night. Owner Joseph Buonauro says thousands of people go out drinking in Roseburg for the annual Pub Crawl and he just wants to make sure people get home safely.
"We would get called either way," Buonauro said. "Making people make a right decision by putting our an incentive for them is something we want to do - we want to get them home [safely]."
Buonauro says the taxi service had all six vehicles out Saturday night and all drivers were backed up with calls during the Pub Crawl.
Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers arrested more drunk drivers statewide this year over the weekend than they did last year. The State Police arrested 29 people on DUII charges, which is six more than last year. Those 29 arrests were made by OSP troopers and do not include city and county agency arrests.
Sergeant Jeff Eichenbusch of the Roseburg Police Department (RPD) says in terms of DUII arrests, the St. Patrick's Day weekend was average, if not below average. Police officers made three arrests; last year they made four. Sergeant Eichenbusch says that when taxi companies and bars offer cheaper services to encourage safe rides home, it can be helpful to get drunk drivers off the roads. He says though it is hard to measure the effectiveness of these incentives, the cheap rides could take away the urge to drive for some people.
Chrome Night Club offers free taxi and limo rides home for customers. Owner Ben Bass says he made a deal with Elite Taxi to have cab rides available. If customers are too impaired to drive, Bass encourages everyone to take that free ride home. Bass says he wants everyone to get home safely, so Chrome picked up the taxi tab. Chrome also has a limousine and the bar's own drivers give customers rides home free of charge as well.