Taxi cab business spikes during New Years holiday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Taxi cab business spikes during New Years holiday

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Taxi drivers were out all night offering rides to people who shouldn't be drinking and driving. One taxi cab company owner says business nearly doubled for him New Years Eve. He and Dougherty county police say that's a positive sign that's keeping some drunk drivers off the streets.

Otha Hopkins has owned Harlem Cab company in downtown Albany for five years. He says says business was booming New Years eve.

"It was good last night and we had a lot of pickups from the bars and clubs last night," Hopkins said.

On a regular night Hopkins says he receives 10 to 15 calls, but last night his list shows he answered about 25 calls from people needing rides home from several area bars. Hopkins says  it's important to be at their service because it may save a life.

"They can get killed because someone is driving and drinking and not paying attention or too drunk to know what they're doing," Hopkins added.

Hopkins' team of three drivers answered calls all night from people who didn't want to risk the legal fines of a DUI which can add up to $10,000.

" I think it's safer to catch a cab or get a designated driver," Hopkins noted.

Even though his cars have a meter service, he charges flat rates depending on where the passenger is going. He's most concerned with their safety.

"Even if they don't have enough money, we'd rather take them and get them off the road," Hopkins commented.

That way drivers aren't risking their own lives and lives of innocent people on the roads. So far, Dougherty County Police have arrested one person overnight for a DUI. Five people have died in traffic crashes since the New Years holiday travel period began. Georgia State Patrol predicts 16 people will die on Georgia roads before the New Years holiday ends on midnight Sunday.

GSP reports 600 crashes and 125 injuries since the New Years travel period began 6:00 Friday night. 

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