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Kudos to Freeport

In an interesting move, the city of Freeport is requiring public event organizers to offer safe rides home from events offering alcohol.

I think this is a neat move.. they could have simply said, “lets put more police on the street,” but instead decided to actually try prevention.  I’ve always believed that more police was never the answer to thwarting more crime.  Most Criminology courses would teach the same.  General deterrence just does not work.

I like this idea, and think Freeport is quite progressive in their thinking.  I’m not 100% sure it should be a requirement, but I like the idea of this being offered at events.

But wait, how can a DWI lawyer be for something like this?  Well, as I have always said, I do not defend Driving While Intoxicated, but rather those accused of DWI.  Big difference.  I also defend the often overzealous law enforcement agencies, and ensure those who are guilty get a fair punishment.

Here is the article.

Drinkers in Freeport offered safe rides home

03:23 PM CDT on Sunday, April 27, 2008

By Rosa Flores / 11 News

FREEPORT, Texas—The city of Freeport is going the extra mile to make sure partiers stay safe on the streets.

From now on, any public event in the city that sells alcohol will be required to offer drinkers a ride home.

The police chief says the decision is simple for event sponsors: Offer rides or don’t serve booze at all.

“We want them to have a successful event, but we want people to be responsible and drink responsibly and not get on the road after they are impaired,” Police Chief Jeff Pynes said.

The decision to implement the rule was natural. One out of every five DWI crashes in the state happens in Brazoria and the seven surrounding counties, making the Houston area the leader in drunk driving accidents in Texas.

At the Freeport Riverfest Festival, signs advertising the Safe Ride program were on every beer booth over the weekend.

But organizers were required to do more than that.

“We’ve got folks lined up to work from the time the alcohol sales begin to the time the sales end this evening,” festival organizer Larry Fansher said.

Some of those volunteers were charged with walking around looking for people who might need a ride and offering to call a family member or cab.

The community is so excited about the program’s potential that a local group plans to talk to state leaders about it.

“The goal is to take this to every city. We would love for every event in every city to implement this program,” Carrie Fletcher of the Brazoria County Community Coalition said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Freeport resident Matt McDonald said.

When that happens, the usually quiet town of Freeport can say they’ve sent a loud message to drivers in Texas: Don’t drink and drive.


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