Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward County Sheriff Gary Stanley said as much as he likes the people in the county, he'd rather not see anyone on New Year's Eve.
The two-term sheriff is warning New Year's Eve party goers to make good choices and don't drink and drive on this, the arguably biggest party night of the year.
"We will have people out and they will be looking for people we think may be drinking," he said. "You can't afford a DUI these days and it is just a matter of calling a cab."
Indeed, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, a single DUI charge costs Oklahoma drivers on average about $6,500.
Stanley thinks it makes more sense to simply agree to have a designated driver who is committed to not drinking at all that night or call a taxi cab for $40.
"They lose their driver's license and then if they need that to do their work, they ruin their entire careers," Stanley said. "We have two cab companies in Woodward and I'm sure they will have all their cabs out on New Year's Eve."
That is true, said Woodward Taxi Cab Service owner Kristopher Trainor.
Trainor is a native of Philadelphia, Penn., but says he enjoys his cab company and the many characters he has learned to know in Woodward through his business.
According to Trainor, all four of his cabs will be active tonight.
"My request is to ask them to please, please pay attention to their phones after they have called us to come get them," Trainor said. "When we get there, we will call the person to let them know we are there and I will call three or four times and then we will leave them."
Trainor said it is important that people call a taxi instead of driving but equally important is actually making it into the taxi and getting that ride home.
"I know that people are going to be drunk, but I am going to be sober, doing the best I can to take care of the people of Woodward," Trainor said. "For me it is like babysitting and every one of these I see as my child. If you look at it like that, you take ownership of these people and make sure they get around safely."
For those who wish to call Woodward Taxi Service, call 580-216-2525 or 580-256-8294.
Also on duty Tuesday evening will be Around Town Taxi Cab Service of Woodward said driver Jessica Stewart.
According to Stewart, both taxis will be out and about on Tuesday and Tuesday evening.
Stewart suggests calling a good 20 minutes ahead of time, as the evening promises to be a busy one.
For Around Town Taxi Cab Service, call (580) 571-7421.
Stanley added that just because you have a designated driver doesn't mean that you can drive around drinking.
"Even though your driver isn't drinking, that is transporting an open container that you can't do that," he said.