Orem PD offers to be designated driver for NYE

Local News

OREM, Utah (News4Utah) Orem Police plan to turn officers into taxi drivers this New Years Eve weekend. 

Instead of taking drunk drivers to jail, they’re offering to be the designated driver. 

A transport van used to take prisoners from jail to the courthouse will be turned into the ‘Drunk Tank Taxi.’

“We will tell our dispatch that we are on duty for special enforcement, when they get a call, they’ll call us,” Officer Kimberly Story said.

Officer Story volunteered to get behind the wheel of the Drunk Tank Taxi.

“How could this not be a good thing,” Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez asked.

Anyone who’s partied too hard on Saturday or Sunday night between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. can call dispatch. Officers will pick them up in Lehi and take them home free of charge within 15 miles.

“Ultimately what we are trying to do is make the roads safer. We’d rather someone not get involved in an accident, get seriously hurt or killed, which has happened, for people driving while impaired,” Lt. Martinez said. 

“We aren’t always scary. We’re not out to get them. We are just here to help and we can enjoy their New Years Eve with them,” said Officer Story.

Inside the taxi, police will provide Gatorade, water and other supplies to make sure everyone has an enjoyable ride.

In addition to regular New Years Eve patrols, four officers will get overtime for operating the taxi service.

If the Drunk Tank Taxi is successful, Orem Police said they’ll consider doing it again. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.