Take a cab | AspenTimes.com

Take a cab

Paul E. Anna

So your sipping has turned to slurping, your speech is ssslurred and you’re certain you left your car keys in your right pocket. But, of course – (insert favorite curse word) – they’re not there. This is the time for Tipsy Taxi.Yes, here in Aspen if you are too drunk to drive after a day or night of imbibing heavily, you have an option. Instead of getting behind the wheel of your car and becoming potentially more lethal than a .45-caliber pistol with the safety off, you can ask a bartender for a Tipsy Taxi voucher and a free – that’s right, free – ride home.Just lean across the bar and tell the bartender you are impaired (like he or she didn’t know the moment you walked in). Said savvy bartender will ask for your name, how many people there are in your party (no that’s not a pun) and what your destination is. He will fill out a form in triplicate and will not, I repeat, not, give it to you to lose, and he will call a cab. Once the cab arrives, he will give the forms to the cabbie who will walk you to your awaiting chariot and give you a ride home.It is that simple. No cost to you. And no cost to the taxpayers of Aspen, as the Tipsy Taxi program is funded through a variety of sources, including donations from the community and court-ordered fees imposed on convicted drunk drivers. Tipsy Taxi is administered through the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office as a crime-prevention program with assistance from Aspen and Snowmass Village police and the local restaurant association. They do this in an effort to keep that most dangerous of animals (forget about the bears and mountain lions), the party animal, off our roadways when they are too drunk to know their own names.This week is a perfect time for bartenders and restaurant owners out there to look in their drawers and make sure you have plenty of Tipsy Taxi forms available. I don’t want to suggest that Food and Wine brings a bad element to town; this isn’t rugby week, after all. But one would surmise that there may be more than the usual contingent of, shall we say, tasters in town.And for those of you who are thinking of using Tipsy Taxi as nothing more than a free ride back to Woody Creek, think again, Creatures. It is bad karma to abuse a good-karma program like this.Tipsy Taxi has been saving lives 24/7, 365 days a year since 1983. How many it has saved will never be known. But if it is just one, especially if the one is you or someone you love, it is worth all the effort.

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