|This evaluation of the Tipsy Taxi program indicates that it is
feasible to implement a full time ride service program for potential
alcohol impaired drivers which is functional, self-sustaining, and
The Tipsy Taxi program is implemented in a very supportive context in that both community and enforcement leaders are oriented towards intervention as well as punishment, the population served is well defined geographically, and the community is quite affluent, affording a variety of funding sources. Additionally, the ride service program supplements a fairly comprehensive public bus system which operates during high-risk, late night hours and thus offers another form of alternative rides for potential impaired drivers.
Analysis of crash data indicates that in this supportive environment, an alternative ride program can serve to help reduce alcohol-related crashes. Injury crashes decreased by 15% in Pitkin County after the implementation of Tipsy Taxi, and there was no reduction of injury crashes in the comparison counties.
The success of the Tipsy Taxi program is do to many factors including the cooperation of many local governmental agencies, a committed coordinator, the participation of bars and restaurants, the local taxi company and the bus system. The community at large has also embraced the program through fund raising and publicity efforts.
Other communities should consider implementing similar programs incorporating many of the operational elements described in this report, with the understanding that an alternative ride program is not the sole solution to impaired driving but is a rational component of a comprehensive program to address this important issue.