The newest Glynn County Police vehicle is a study in contrasts, just as the department’s approach to dealing with drunks on local roadways is an either/or proposition.
Folks who have had too much to drink can either find someone sober to drive them home, or risk having a law enforcement officer drive them to jail. That is the message behind the new vehicle — the front half of which is a Glynn Police Department patrol car and the back half of which is a standard yellow taxi cab.
The choices are spelled out on the sides of the old Ford Crown Victoria.
“This ride costs about $20.00,” it says along the back panel, which is painted as a taxi cab.
“This ride will cost you about $7,500,” it says on the front panel that is painted up as a county police patrol car.
The former, of course, represents the average cost for calling a taxi or other service for a ride home after a night of drinking. The latter price represents what a DUI arrest can end up costing a person in court costs and other expenses. It might sound like a no-brainer, but at least seven folks in Glynn County within the past week have taken a ride to jail in the back of a law enforcement vehicle for choosing to drink and drive, according to Glynn County Detention Center records.
The county police department’s new CopCab is meant to remind folks to choose more wisely when they head out for a night of drinking. It is being parked in visible locations throughout the county, just one more way to help discourage drunk driving, said Brian Scott, Chief of Staff of the county police department.
“The purpose is to bring more awareness about the consequences and dangers of drinking and driving,” Scott said. “That one mistake can cost a lot of people a lot of money. We would rather they take a cab or Uber or Lyft or something else rather than driving drunk. It’s just a mobile billboard to get people to think about it.”
And this message has not cost taxpayers a dime, Scott noted. The CopCab is an old county police patrol car, no longer fit for regular duty and once bound for the auction block, he said. FinishMaster, Golden Isles Paint and Body, and Sign Crafters of Brunswick collaborated on the unique paint job, donating their services for free, Scott said.
The CopCab, however, is not original — cities across the nation use such vehicles to caution against drunk driving. This local vehicle was completed last month, in time to be displayed at Brunswick High and Glynn Academy during graduation week.
This past weekend, the CopCab was visible in the median of the Golden Isles Parkway. It has been visible on St. Simons Island this week, and police plan to display it prominently at First Friday in downtown Brunswick and other local events.
“The dangers of drinking and driving are a lot larger than the cost, but we’re hoping this gets the message across,” Scott said. “We’re getting a lot of looks from it already. Ultimately, you choose your ride: you can take a cab, or ride in the back of a police car.”