Safe New Year's Eve driving options in Franklin County - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Safe New Year's Eve driving options in Franklin County

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FRANKLIN CO., Ill. -- As with most holidays, police will be patrolling late Monday night looking for drunk drivers. But for several years, the Sesser Police Department has gone the extra mile by offering free rides to those out celebrating on New Year's Eve. 

Officer Brian Van Eycke says cops will be offering a ride service that locals should use, "We don't want to play the naive card and go nobody is going to drink and drive. We want to make sure that everybody gets a good start to the new year whether it be staying out of jail or just being safe." 

Sesser residents can call dispatch between 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. at (618) 724-2424 Ext 0. 

While Franklin County residents living outside of Sesser can call two local cab services.

James Patton recently started Benton Cab after seeing a need in his community while sitting in court for his wife's traffic ticket, "I just saw so many DUIs in there and I asked myself why isn't there a taxi service that will actually help people."

Patton says he wanted to make rate affordable for low-income customers and charges a $1.20 per mile. He adds that it's cheaper than most other cab services and definitely less costly than a DUI. 

"Locally, $100 an entire night. I'll drive you around to every bar," Patton remarks. " A DUI costs anywhere between $8,000 -$10,000." 

When Patton is busy, he refers customers to Matthew Pina owner of Benton West City Taxi service. 

Pina also recently started the businesses after hearing his father's fire fighting stories growing up, "Realizing how dangerous and how many people are killed each year from drunk driving. I just figured it’s the easiest way to do something about it," Pina explains. 

The cab drivers say they'll be available anytime day or night. 

Benton Cab: (618) 800-2227

Benton & West City Taxi Service: (618) 435-1948

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