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‘Choose your ride’: Glendale police display new vehicle in campaign against DUIs

A "police-taxi" participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run on on June 8, 2016.
(Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer)

Residents can expect to see a new vehicle around town that is part taxi cab and part patrol car, but it has one message: Don’t drink and drive.

With half of the car painted to resemble a yellow taxi, and the other half a traditional patrol car, the vehicle implores passersby to “Choose your ride.”

The car’s hood also features itemized costs associated with being convicted of driving under the influence.

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The total comes to $15,649, factoring in legal fees ($2,500), a victim restitution fund ($140) and an auto insurance hike ($10,154), among other costs that represent a driver’s first misdemeanor DUI conviction.

The idea to use the vehicle as a “police taxi” to raise awareness about DUIs came from Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot, who found out that other cities, such as Sacramento and Huntington Beach, have displayed similar cars.

It cost nearly $2,000 for the car’s vinyl wrapping.

Glendale Police Department's new "police-taxi" vehicle hits the road.

Glendale Police Department’s new “police-taxi” vehicle hits the road.

(Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer)

Locally, police plan to display the car at DUI checkpoints and public events to convey not only the dangers associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, but also to encourage appointing designated drivers.

The police have also used the car to transport DUI drivers to the station, Lightfoot said.

“We’ve had a lot of interest [from residents],” she said. “Once they get a good look at it, they understand what it’s all about.”

During the last two years, Glendale police arrested 1,049 people for driving under the influence, tallied 212 traffic collisions tied to DUIs and logged another 52 DUI-related injuries, according to statistics released by the police department.

Also, there are an estimated 30 people who die every day in vehicle accidents nationwide due to an alcohol- or drug-impaired driver, according to the statistics.

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Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan


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