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Safe Cab is smart choice

WORTHINGTON -- In the state of Minnesota, 455 people lost their lives due to alcohol-related crashes in 2008, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. More than 35,000 people were arrested for driving while impaired.

Don't be one of them. Use the Safe Cab.

The Worthington Police Department, Nobles County Sheriff's Office, Worthington Taxi Service and Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce have once again teamed up to provide free taxi service on New Year's Eve from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Law enforcement will provide drivers for the cabs in addition to taxi drivers.

"They will pick you up from a bar or a house party," said Nobles County Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs. "Call the cab company or flag one down."

The program ensures revelers a safe and free ride home from the festivities of their choice, and the alternatives that come with driving drunk can be -- excuse the pun -- sobering.

Four deaths in Nobles County in 2008 were attributed to alcohol, with 174 people charged with driving while impaired (DWI). In Rock County, three people were killed due to alcohol-related deaths, and in Cottonwood County there were two deaths. Cottonwood County had 75 DWI arrests in 2008, Jackson County had 69, Murray County had 37, Pipestone County had 60 and Rock County had 37.

If the thought of dying or killing a passenger or innocent bystander while driving drunk isn't enough incentive to not get behind the wheel after drinking, consider the financial impact of a DWI charge. Court fines, bail, attorney fees, skyrocketing insurance rates -- all come with a drunk driving charge. Loss of a driver license is another aspect of a DWI.

If you're going to drink, do whatever it takes so you don't drive," Heinrichs said. "Give your keys to a friend and use the cab. That is what it's there for. It's free. Use it."

To use the Safe Cab, simply flag one down or make arrangements by calling (507) 372-4300.