The phrase is one that will grace coasters throughout several local restaurants this month to remind customers, while they appreciate your business at their bars - call a cab, or end up in a jail cell.
More than 25,000 coasters placed at local restaurants will bear the "Cab or Cell" message on one side, with the numbers to two local cab companies, Fairfax Yellow Cab and Red Top Cab, on the other side.
The owners of The Greene Turtle, The Auld Shebeen, Hard Times Cafe, and Buffalo Wing University are taking part in the campaign.
Particularly given their proximity to George Mason University, the owners of these four restaurants said they felt it was important to team up with the Unified Prevention Coalition (UPC) to help drive the message home this month, given that October was the peak month for alcohol-related crashes by youth and young adults last year in Fairfax County.
The message is a particularly personal one for Greene Turtle owner Paul Erb, 37, who admits he was arrested twice back in his 20s for drinking and driving.
"We hope this gets the attention of our patrons to make good choices and not drive after drinking," Erb said, adding that he regularly advises customers to take a cab to prevent crashes or other negative consequences.
Fairfax County Police Department and other local and campus police departments, as well as George Mason and Northern Virginia Community College campus officials, are also partners in the UPC coaster advertising campaign that seeks to reduce the number of motor-vehicle crashes in Fairfax County involving alcohol-impaired drivers age 18 to 24.
In 2012, those drivers were involved in 249 crashes in Fairfax County.
"For those who don’t heed the 'Cab or Cell' message, our local law enforcement will be out in force looking for drunk drivers who put others at risk," said UPC President Lisa Adlar.
In addition, the Greene Turtle and UPC will also hold specialized training, called "TIPS," for alcohol servers and bartenders at local restaurants on Nov. 6.
The TIPS training program, approved by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), is open to restaurant workers from across the county.
Focused Image created the coasters ad campaign and donated its services.
Movie versions of two other ads will run in 68 local theaters between Oct. 18 and Nov. 1, and ads are up in Fairfax Connector buses as well.
The "Cab or Cell" campaign is part of UPC’s work under the Virginia Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant.
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