AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — As many are out and about celebrating the holidays, city leaders in Austin, Texas are encouraging people who’ve had too much to drink to leave their cars in metered parking overnight, even if it means getting a ticket.
“What we want to see is people being responsible,” says the city’s Parking Services Manager Jacob Culberson. “We don’t want people to feel pressure to drive.”
The city provides a couple of options for those who drive downtown but end up drinking too much to make it home on their own.
Drivers have the option of selecting overnight parking at any meter pay station. They can pay in advance for the hours they expect their car to stay in its spot the next day, until they can safely make it back to pick it up.
But, for those who don’t plan to leave their car in advance, “They can just have that citation waived with adequate proof that they took a safe ride home,” Culberson said.
The city will forgive any tickets received in the downtown area, between Interstate 35 and North Lamar Boulevard, and Lady Bird Lake to 10th Street. Parking Services will not tow a vehicle out of a metered spot, as long as the driver comes and picks it up the next day.
All that’s needed to have a ticket waived is a receipt showing that a rideshare company, taxi or bus was used. Car owners can submit the proof online within 24 hours of receiving the ticket.
Currently, Culberson says, “We have about one person coming in per month to use the program.” He says he hopes more people will take the city up on its offer over the holidays.
“The more people that utilize this program the better,” he said.