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TxDOT Offering Free Cab Rides For Intoxicated Fiesta Goers

Joey Palacios

The Texas Department of Transportation is reviving its Fiesta Safe voucher program this year to offer free cab rides to intoxicated individuals.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus echoed the words of other law enforcement agencies on catching drunk drivers.

"If you drink and drive, you’re going to get caught," McManus said. "It’s just a matter of when. When you do, it’s going to cost you a lot of money and a lot of heartache that you don’t need."

Last year for Fiesta, 373 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated, and in both 2011 and 2012 there were no alcohol-related automobile fatalities.

To keep that number at zero, Robbie Smith, with the Texas Department of Transportation, is offering free cab rides up to $20 from Fiesta events.

"We want everyone to arrive home safely, and in doing that, that means sometimes you have to plan ahead," Smith said. "Think about what you’re going to do."

TxDOT previously used a vouchers system for the program which is run by sponsorships. This year however, they’re in the form of a debit card. Each one comes loaded with $20.

John Bouloubasis, president of Yellow Cab San Antonio said the cards will only be good for Yellow Cab and Towne Car taxies.

"What happens when a patron gets them, they’re used in the same manner as a credit card in the cab. They’re good for $20 and then when they’re done, when Fiesta is over, they can be re-loaded just simply by calling our office and they can be re-loaded to any dollar amount," Bouloubasis said.

TxDOT representatives will be passing out the cards at Fiesta events. The original $20 on the card will be good during Fiesta and only when leaving one of the events.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules