Every year around this time, personal injury attorney William Berg's name
gets into the news for his remarkable hybrid of altruism and self-promotion. On New Year's, St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Halloween -- four holidays which are largely defined by drunken hi-jinks -- Berg sponsors free taxi rides home for inebriated Bay Area residents.
We'll get you all the details, but we'll also do what most news providers do not -- and that is spell out, explicitly, that you cannot take a cab from San Francisco to the East Bay on Bill Berg's dime. So if you're hoping to drink like Peter O'Toole in the city and then glide home, gratis
, in a cab -- you'll have to come up with some other ingenious plan.
"In San Francisco you can go from any bar or restaurant to your own residence within city limts," says Berg. "You cannot go to another party or bar. And, unfortunately, our budget doesn't allow you to travel outside of San Francisco."
Of course, interestingly, if San Franciscans want to booze it up in the East Bay and then take a cab home courtesy of Berg -- he says you can do that.
Anyhow, here's the info, as promised: If you're in the East Bay, dial Veterans Cab at (800) 281-4488; if you're in the city, call Luxor at (415) 282-4141. Tell the driver that "it's on Berg Lawyers."
With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, Berg expects to pony up $20,000 or more in cab fares. And, apart from the satisfaction of keeping folks from wandering drunkenly through the city into danger or driving while inebrieated, is it worth it? He's not sure.
"That'd be an excellent question for a marketin gexpert," he says. "Marketing folks like to be able to link something to actual results. So, you know, this is obviously a good thing for the community and it's good PR for the law firm. But I could not tell you of a single case that we've gotten as a result of the program.
"So, I guess that's a long-winded way of saying the answer is: I don't know."