Kemah launches unique drunk driving crackdown

The Voodoo Hut is quiet before the day begins -- quiet but busy. Manager Danny Rodriguez hopes nobody overindulges, but he's seen a lot in his 30 years working in the business.

"The sad part is it's almost nightly. Almost nightly," he says. 

About a year ago, some of the staff came up with an idea. Get walkie talkies so the bars in the area could warn each other about unruly and intoxicated customers.

"At first, we started with the kid walkie talkies you play with in the yard. Now we've adapted. And we have better equipment," Rodriguez says.

They've got good ones, and you know who else has one of them? The Kemah police.  Bouncers can also warn police if a drunk customer is trying to drive away. But here's what's a little different. Kemah police try to put the potential drunk driver into an Uber -- not a squad car. 

"Some of our officers actually have some Uber drivers' personal cell numbers and will call them," says Kemah Police Chief Chris Reed.

Chief Reed says arresting and ticketing doesn't really reduce the numbers of drunks on the road, it drives away the tourists and it's not efficient.

"Ties him up for two hours and he's done one. If I've got one officer who comes out here and discourages ten DWI drivers that's a much bigger impact," says Chief Reed.

This cooperation is also good business for the bars. They avoid lawsuits and worse.

"Nine times out of ten when they come back the next day to get their credit cards they're like... 'man I don't really remember what happened last night, but thank you.'" says Rodriguez.