Tipsy Taxi still keeping Aspen-area roads safe
December 2, 2018
Dec. 16, 1983, was the first day of operation of Tipsy Taxi. Since then, there has been uninterrupted service — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — for 35 years. It is a safety net, a last resort, for anyone who has no other way to avoid getting behind the wheel after drinking. As a rookie deputy sheriff in 1982, I believed it appropriate for peace officers to keep the driving public safer not only by removing drunk drivers by arrest, but — even better — to give every potential drunk driver a better choice. Take a free ride home. I proposed this crime-prevention program to then-sheriff Dick Kienast who told me, "I don't think it will work, but I won't stop you."
The rest is history. And no tax dollars have been used for the rides.
Tipsy Taxi would not be possible without the existence of a 24-hour-a-day taxi service, which has been High Mountain Taxi for decades. Kudos and thanks to the dedicated drivers. It also depends on the cooperation of bartenders who arrange for the rides. Thanks go to them for giving tens of thousands of safe rides over the years. And, of course, peace officers always deserve our thanks for all they do, including traffic safety.
Although I am now long-retired from the Sheriff's Office, I am honored to still run this life-saving program. If you find yourself in Aspen with no other way to get home safely, ask any bartender or peace officer for a free Tipsy Taxi ride home. Take a ride, don't take a chance.
Ellen W. Anderson