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ARLINGTON Benito Capellan spends a lot of time in a home office these days. He says it beats his old home: a jail cell.

'You realize how much you take for granted when you're in jail and put away like that,' the 24-year-old told News 8 on Monday.

Capellan was just released from jail after serving more than five months as part of a manslaughter conviction.

He was driving drunk in July 2012 when he struck cyclist Britta Silvia Schneider in Lubbock. The 32-year-old Texas Tech grad student died five hours later.

'It's just written on my heart,' Capellan said. 'I think about her all the time.'

As part of what he says is a lifelong goal to make sure Schneider's memory never dies, Capellan is starting a safe ride program for citizens in Arlington.

Specifically, Gallop Safe Ride will cater to University of Texas Arlington students, although the program isn't officially connected to the school.

'Choose an alternative, and say, 'Hey, I don't have to drive home. I'll call Gallop and they can come pick me up for free,'' Capellan said.

The program is still awaiting a final 501 (c)(3) designation, which will help with insurance and grants.

Gallop Safe Ride has already contracted with Enterprise to line up vehicles for the program. Students will be able to call a number and request a car with a volunteer driver if they've had too much to drink.

If all goes as planned, volunteer drivers will begin training before the fall rush on campus in August.

'We are committed to making this happen, and hopefully quickly,' Capellan said.

Some sponsors have already signed on to help, including local restaurants Hooligans Pub and Mavericks Bar and Grill.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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