Take a cab home from the downtown Columbus nightclub scene and you could win a $25 gift certificate.
That’s a short summary of “Grab a Bud, Grab a Cab,” a new program that encourages people to party responsibly in downtown Columbus. It begins April 5 and runs through Dec. 31.
Expect to see a cab stand near the corner of 11th and Broadway on Friday and Saturday nights. The cabstand will be available from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
If you choose to take a cab, you can enter to win a $25 gift certificate for various downtown Columbus businesses. Organizers will draw a winner every Monday.
These cab rides aren’t free, according to Elizabeth Hurst, vice president of community relations and marketing for Uptown Columbus Inc., which is presenting the program with Budweiser. The Downtown Nightlife Association is also participating.
"The more people we can get home safely, the better,” Hurst said.
Columbus police Chief Ricky Boren said the convenience of a cab stand is good idea.
"I totally support it,” Boren said. “If an individual has the convenience of a cab in close proximity to the bars, he has a choice to take a cab or take a chance of getting a DUI.”
In the last year, there has been a lot of attention focused on drivers leaving downtown on the weekends. The Georgia State Patrol has had a special unit trained to spot impaired drivers working in and around downtown for more than a year. The unit is known as the Nighthawks.
"They have been pretty hard in that area on DUIs,” Boren said.
Senior editor Chuck Williams contributed to this report.