Austin Now Waives Your Parking Tickets If You Don't Drive Home Drunk

Photo credit: Harry Cabluck/AP Images
Photo credit: Harry Cabluck/AP Images

Here’s a good idea: don’t punish people for being responsible.

That’s what Austin is now doing for people who let someone else drive them home when they’re too drunk to drive themselves, reports KXAN. If you leave your car in metered parking overnight and incur a fine for going over-time, all you have to do is show proof that you caught a safe ride home with someone else to get out of it. Any receipt from a rideshare app, taxi or bus will do.

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Overnight parking is an option offered at metered parking stations, but you don’t always have the foresight to know when you’re about to get crunker than a T-Pain acoustic session.

So, waiving the overnight fees when you get a safe ride home is a good, reasonable thing for cities to do if they want to remove as many temptations for drivers to get behind the wheel drunk as possible. Parking Services has been instructed not to tow any vehicles left downtown overnight as a result, so long as it’s moved the next day.

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“What we want to see is people being responsible,” Parking Services Manager Jacob Culberson told KXAN. “We don’t want people to feel pressure to drive.”

Currently, Austin will only waive tickets in the downtown area, but already the city says at least one person a month comes in to take advantage of the fee waiver. Maybe they should extend it out to other neighborhoods, too, because it’s a really good idea.

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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DISCUSSION

The common sense involved here is so overwhelmingly awesome.

A decade ago I lived in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana for a few years. All the proximity to New Orleans stuff aside, there was a major food and drink festival every year where the cops focused on the folks walking/stumbling out of the festival and either got them rides or even drove them home themselves.

It was so refreshingly amazing to have police trying to prevent people from making life-altering mistakes rather than just waiting at the parking lot exit and playing the gotcha game like so many seem to do.