Police, bartenders and cab drivers talk New Year's Eve safety results

Police, bartenders and cab drivers talk New Year's Eve safety results

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - It's not just police officers working to keep our roads safe, both bartenders and cab drivers say they helped make sure people who were drinking didn't reach for their keys.

Mildred Sears has been in the cab business since she was 16 years old and now she is the dispatcher for Diamond Cab. She says New Year's Eve is always a busy night.

"It's a holiday, one of the biggest holidays of the year, and, people drink and go out to bars...," Sears said, which is why drivers at Diamond Cab feel it's important to offer free rides.

"It saves lives, that's the main thing about it, that's why we do it every year," Gary Pulsifer said. Pulsifer has been a cab driver for more than 22 years.

Myrtle Beach Police posted on their website that seven people were arrested for DUIs, and Sergeant Jeff Benton with the Horry County Sheriff's Office says they've housed 6 subjects for DUI from 4 p.m. New Years Eve until 4 p.m. New Year's Day.

Diamond Cab says they received calls from bartenders to come pick up their customers. Sears said they got about 30 calls on New Year's Eve.

"We had to call a few actually," Tyler Vaught explained. Vaught is a bartender at Kings Street Grille. He says  their night was so busy they could barely look up, but they did make several phone calls each.

"You can see it in their eyes, their body language, just the way they talk, little bit of everything," Vaught said.

Cab drivers say they didn't just offer safe rides for bar customers, they offered it to everybody.

"We've also gotten calls from homes that were having home parties, as long as they prove they have a car on the property, they were intoxicated, we took them home," Pulsifer said.

"It's a good program and people do call to use it," Sears explained.

The next chance for to use the program will be Super Bowl Sunday.

Diamond Cab managers say they would love to make this a year round promotion, but in order to make that a reality they would need outside funding. So for now, they will be focusing on all of the major holidays.

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