From the inside it looks like a typical police car, but the outside tells a different story. Half cruiser, half cab, it's the Fresno Police Department's latest stand against drinking and driving.
“We may never know the life we saved, but we do know we will save lives as a result of this effort,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Volunteers will drive the retired squad car around town and park it at DUI operations.
Chief Jerry Dyer says this moving billboard is designed to spark conversation in the community.
“We wanted to create a visual tool that was viewed as somewhat controversial, catch the attention of the general motorist,” said Chief Dyer.
The front doors highlight a DUI arrest costing up to $10,000 vs. a taxi ride which is around $20.
However, the message is more than saying driving intoxicated is a bad financial decision.
“But rather a crime. A crime that could ultimately cause someone to lose their life,” said Chief Dyer.
“There isn't a day that I don't think about my son,” said Eloy Licon of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.
In 1988, a drunk driver killed Eloy Licon's 25-year old son. Today, he's an advocate for M.A.D.D.
“Things like that don't have to happen. You have to be responsible for what you do and you just have to use common sense,” said Eloy Licon.
That means planning, prior to partying.
“We’re all about safety of the community,” said Wes Burgess, owner of We Be Sober.
For the last three years we be sober has provided a service of driving you and your car home. They’ll take you anywhere in the Fresno / Clovis area for a flat rate of $40.
“In comparison with taking a risk of a possible DUI it's very, very cheap,” said Burgess.
Fresno police began taking a hard-nosed approach against drinking and driving 10 years ago. Since then, officers have made more than 31,000 DUI arrests. DUI collisions have decreased by nearly 30%.
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