Fresno PD Unveils Funny Car With Serious Message

The Fresno Police Department has added a funny-looking car to its fleet that carries a serious message about drunk driving.

It is part police car and part taxi cab.

A sobering{}message explains the financial pain of being convicted of driving drunk. It reads, "This ride (taxi){}costs you twenty dollars, this ride (police car){}costs up to ten thousand dollars. Please don't drink and drive."{}

Andy Hall, who heads the police department's traffic bureau, said, "We can't arrest our way of the crime of drunk driving. We have to have social change and we come up with new ideas to try to get people to talk about the drunk driving issue."

The car elicits a number of reactions from people when it drives by.

Lisa Garcia, who saw the car parked in front of the police station, thinks it's cool.

"I really like it. Does it send a message about drinking and driving?{} Oh yeah don't drink and drive," she said.

The Fresno Police Department has put the spotlight on drunk driving for the past decade -- which includes more than 31,000 arrests. Since then, DUI collisions have decreased by 30 percent and{}DUI injury collisions have been cut in half, according to police data.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer says social change about drinking and driving takes time and sustained effort.

"We wanted to create a visual tool that was viewed as somewhat controversial, that would catch the attention of the general motorist and would cause people to truly have that conversation with one another about the crime of drunk driving," Dyer said.

The patrol car/cab will be driven by volunteers all over the city and will be displayed at{}DUI checkpoints.{}