Don't try to take this taxi home

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Local,Crime,Ben Giles

Arlington County police have a new, unconventional tool to combat drunken driving this holiday season: a fully-functioning half-taxicab, half-police cruiser.

But don't be confused if you're out late at night and spot this unique hybrid. This vehicle can't take you home, and it can't take you to jail either, said Kurt Erickson, president of the Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

The old Ford Crown Victoria, a taxicab donated by the Red Top Cab company, will be deployed to popular nightlife spots in Arlington County this week. The back half of the vehicle, painted as a taxicab, and the front half, painted as a realistic version of an Arlington County police cruiser -- complete with flashing lights -- are meant to serve as a reminder to inebriated patrons: Don't drink and drive, Erickson said.

The car will be driven by an Arlington County police officer, according to Erickson. A number is painted on the cruiser's trunk for the SoberRide program, which will be offered from Dec. 14 through Jan. 1.

bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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Ben Giles

Staff Writer - Crime Beat
The Washington Examiner