Police say people are finally getting the message about drunk dr - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Police say people are finally getting the message about drunk driving

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Phones were ringing off the hook Thursday afternoon at ABC cab in South Bend.  But it was nothing compared to how busy they were New Year's Eve.  Owner Nick Yassine said, "we just had tons of calls.  I had to hire three dispatchers that night."  Normally there's only one dispatcher.  And of course a lot of that business New Year's Eve did include people who were celebrating the holiday.  "picking up drunk all over," said Yassine.  ABC Cab was able to get them home safely, even if they couldn't pay, because Yassine offers free rides on New Year's Eve.  "I'm serving the community.  I have to do it this way."

Thanks to him, the people taking the cabs, and other responsible partiers there were zero DUI arrests in St. Joseph County on New Year's Eve and no alcohol related crashes, which is pretty rare.  "I've been doing this for a long time and I cannot remember not having at least one DUI arrest," said Lt. Tim Williams with the Mishawaka Police Department. 

DUI arrests were down across the Indiana Toll Road this Holiday Season too.  "It's 10 percent less," said Sgt. Jeff Whiteman with the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post.  And more good news about alcohol related crashes on the toll road.  "We were fortunate that we did not have any injury accidents that were alcohol related this holiday season," said Whiteman.

So why the change for the better?  Williams said, "People are getting the message."  The message that there's serious consequences for drinking and driving.  Consequences Yassine wants to help you avoid so he'll be offering free rides on New Year's again next year.  "I love this town, my beautiful town, I love it so I have to do something."

Next Monday, January 7th, when Notre Dame plays in the BCS Championship game will be another big night that police are asking drivers to be safe.  Williams said he knows that'll be a big night for people going out to bars, drinking, and of course celebrating.  He hopes again people can act responsibly and that no DUI arrests will come from that night.  So get a designated driver, call a cab...do what you have to do to get home safely.

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