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Cabbies and Drug Tests

Some think drug testing cab drivers is a great idea. Others say it's just a waste of time and money.

After 15 years of driving a taxi in Tallahassee, Willie Deadwilder says getting this city permit is too tough.

"It's getting to be aggravating. Used to be fun. But driving a cab now ain't nothing but an aggravation," explains Deadwilder.

Drivers who already get background checks, driving checks, and cab inspections could face more.

Under a Tallahassee Police Department proposal, taxi drivers could have to take a drug test and a physical every year.

But it might make some passengers feel more comfortable taking a ride.

And driver Linda Watkins wouldn't mind a drug test one bit.

"I think it's a good idea. WHY? Because there are things people do they're not supposed to do. Whether you're a taxi driver or not. And if you don't have anything to worry about, you don't mind taking the test," adds Watkins.

The police department has been studying the cab permit issue for the past year.

A preliminary report recommends annual drug tests and physicals, but attorneys aren't sure that's the city's responsibility, since it's just licensing and not employing taxi drivers.

City Commissioner Allan Katz wants the drug testing issue to come before the commission, but the police department's report is not yet finalized.


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