Drive home or call a cab? This is the choice bar hoppers and partygoers face every weekend – but the Lexington Police Department has now added a third option.
For “Operation Safe Tow,” the police department has partnered with 11 local towing services to get folks home safe. Anyone who has been out at a Lexington bar or restaurant can get their vehicle towed for a flat fee of $100, as well as a ride home for up to two people. The police department announced the new program at a news conference Tuesday morning.
Though calling a cab might be cheaper than getting a tow, Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green said people often worry their vehicles will get broken into if left out in public. This program solves that problem. It’s also cheaper than a DUI – which costs about $10,000 after factoring in fines and legal fees, Green said.
Officials will put each participating tow service company's contact information in bars and restaurants throughout the town, Green said. Anyone out at one of these venues can use the service, and anyone who knows they’re going to be out drinking can make an appointment with a tow service ahead of time, the chief said.
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Representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and LRADAC – which works to fight substance abuse in Richland and Lexington counties – attended the program’s announcement to show support.
“At the end of the day, we need people making their own individual responsible choices not to drive a car after drinking,” said MADD representative Steven Burritt. “But it sure does help when we make those choices easier for people.”
Severs can also call a tow truck if a patron is clearly drunk, Cpl. Cameron Mortenson said – though, just as when a server calls a cab in that situation, it’s the patron’s responsibility to pay.
Glen Luke Flanagan
Participating Tow Services
- Boatwright’s Paint & Body
- Carolina Towing
- Wingard Towing Service
- Pro Tow of Columbia
- Extreme Recovery
- Mitchum’s Towing
- Freedom Towing & Recovery
- True Automotive Towing
- Corey’s of Lexington
- Pee Wee’s Towing
- A-1 Wrecker Service