Tulsa Sees Decline in Drunk Drivers During New Year's Events
It's a message driven home incessantly, 'Don't drink and drive,' one heard especially loud and clear by the folks on the other side of the bar.
"It's extremely scary, you have no idea," said Josh Royal of R bar, on the ever present concern of making sure a drunk patron doesn't get behind the wheel.
"It's nerve wracking, you know, because I am liable for anything that would happen so I try to get people home safely, even when they refuse, and I tell them at that point, I have to call the police, I have to let them know that I've done everything that I can to stop you from driving and I don't want to be liable anymore, so. You've done that? Absolutely," he said.
"It's always a concern being a bar," said Vanessa Somerville, owner of Lot 6 Art Bar, one of several establishments that has a free cab program.
"All they have to do is give me their keys, we give them back to them when they get into the cab, and they get a free ride within 15 miles of my bar," she said.
But keep in mind, getting a cab on New Year's is going be challenging.
"It gonna be triple busy than normal time," said Joe Hussein. He cues cabs at the airport. How much lead time should you allot for?
"Call and try to give a 30 minute notice or hour notice.," he said.
It's a wait time can often be frustrating. A reminder of Tulsa's not-quite-there-yet status.
"You can't go out and flag down a cab in Tulsa like you can in any other big city," said Royal.
And yet, with zero drunk driving fatalities or even collisions on New Year's last year, something's working. Whether it's designated drivers, or tipsy tow, or folks just plain getting the message on the receiving side of the bar.
"I think people just are being more responsible honestly, I think it's working," said Somerville.