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'Cop Cab' Powerful Deterrent Against Driving Drunk

The now-retired police car is painted to look like a Snellville police car on the front half and a taxi cab on the back half.

From left Councilman Bobby Howard and Snellville Police Department  Chief Roy Whitehead with the city’s new Cop Cab, a vehicle designed  to make people think about the costly consequences of drinking and  driving. Credit: City of Snellville
From left Councilman Bobby Howard and Snellville Police Department Chief Roy Whitehead with the city’s new Cop Cab, a vehicle designed to make people think about the costly consequences of drinking and driving. Credit: City of Snellville

From the City of Snellville

Do you want to ride in a taxi cab, or the back seat of a police car?

That’s the question Snellville Councilman Bobby Howard wants you to think about when you see the city’s Cop Cab — and when you may have had too much to drink.

A refurbished police car, the Cop Cab made its debut at the Snellville Farmer’s Market recently and it will be placed in locations around the city as a visual reminder that if you've had too much to drink, you have a choice; you can drive home drunk and risk having an accident being arrested or worse someone dies or you can call a cab. The now-retired police car is painted to look like a Snellville police car on the front half and a taxi cab on the back half.

Howard said it is designed to point out the cost difference between taking a $40 cab ride home and a $10,000 driving while under the influence arrest.

Howard and Police Chief Roy Whitehead point out that the vehicle will not be providing cab service. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the tremendous costs and hardships caused by drunk driving, and the simple, safe and low cost alternative.

“I want to express my thanks to everyone who has supported this project.” Howard said. “This vehicle will be a great ambassador for our city and we will begin immediately sending it out into the community. We have some big plans and just to start ... We look forward to showcasing the Cop Cab at a variety of locations including our sponsors’ businesses. The car really looks fantastic and many thanks go to Kathy Emanuel and A Better Sign for getting it done!” 

Even before the Cop Cab was finished, the concept made a positive impression on a number of people. At a January City Council meeting, Howard shared with South Gwinnett High School students in attendance the significance of the program and his personal connection with it. He told the audience that when he was a 16, he went to a Braves game, had too much to drink and got behind the wheel of his car to drive home. He said he ended up flipping the car over several times and was lucky to get out alive. After telling the story, he received a Facebook message from a parent whose child was in the audience that night and spoke about it to his mother about what he had heard at the council meeting.

No taxpayer funds were used for Snellville's Cop Cab. It was completely funded by private donations. Sponsors include:

  • Snellville Police Department
  • Snellville Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
  • Snellville Tourism & Trade
  • Walton EMC
  • The Snellville Lions Club
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Snellville Sunrise Rotary
  • Walker-Smith Body Shop
  • A Better Sign
  • Emergency Equipment Specialists
  • Wild Wing Cafe

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