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You drink, we drive?

By Dacquiri - 9 June 2012 47

While I really don’t mind that my 22yr old son asks me to drive him around so that he doesn’t drive home after he’s been drinking — sign of a well-brought-up kid, and one of those times to be thankful that Canberra is so easy to get around — it did make me wonder why the need for this kind of service hasn’t been met.

This issue was discussed in posts in 2010, in the context of cars being ticketed on Saturday mornings after having been left there all night rather than drivers risking driving them home, but is there actually a Canberra service that will take you and your car home (and drop off your friends along the way)? If not, why not? These services operate in one of 2 ways: a driver turns up with a fold-away scooter, drives you and your car home, and then scoots off to the next client; or another driver drops off and picks up your driver. Such services exist in Scotland (http://www.scootltd.co.uk/), South Africa (https://www.gfellas.co.za/), India (http://www.drivespark.com/news/2012/05/02-skoda-you-drink-we-drive.html), and throughout the USA (http://www.drinkinganddriving.org/tools/services.html), including my home town (http://www.stldd.com/).

There is some evidence of these services popping up around Australia, including Perth (http://www.perthdesignateddrivers.com/apps/blog/show/6673620-perth-s-atrocious-attitudes-towards-drink-driving-) and the Hills District of Sydney (http://www.mynrma.com.au/members/member-benefit/u-drink-we-drive-u-home.htm).

However, services that charge crazy fees like this (http://www.dialadriver.net.au/) are not exactly going to capture the youth market, or even the girls from work who’ve had a few too many on a Friday night.

What’s Your opinion?


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47 Responses to
You drink, we drive?
1
eyeLikeCarrots 9:51 am
09 Jun 12
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2
deye 10:21 am
09 Jun 12
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I can’t recall their name, but have seen posters advertising a service along these lines outside some of the Civic night spots.

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3
JonahBologna 10:31 am
09 Jun 12
#

I worked for a company that was similar to what you’re talking about when I lived in Denver, Colorado. We used 49cc scooters that could be taken apart and put in the boot for the drive, then reassembled for the return to the CBD. I was there when it was a start-up and it was never profitable. The main problem was the narrow window when customers want the service (only about 4 hours per night). The company was nearly profitable in Boulder, Colorado; they have strong anti-sprawl measures so that the drive was always short, but Denver has a huge sprawl problem so that a single driver could only manage to do two or three rides per night…just not feasible.

I still think its a good idea, but I have trouble imagining it being profitable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NightRiders,_Incorporated

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4
I-filed 11:13 am
09 Jun 12
#

That’s setting the bar for defining a kid as “well brought up” pretty low! “Spoilt, bogan” comes to mind rather!

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5
Dacquiri 12:21 pm
09 Jun 12
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Maybe spoilt, but no bogan. Academic family, ANU Sociology degree — so maybe clever and manipulative?!

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6
poetix 12:33 pm
09 Jun 12
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A 22 year old expecting a parent to drive him around? I’ll be expecting my daughter to drive me around by then! Tell him to pay for a taxi. He’s not a kid any more, and you shouldn’t encourage this selfishness.

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7
Henry82 1:00 pm
09 Jun 12
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It’s called a taxi

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8
DrKoresh 1:13 pm
09 Jun 12
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I love how one throwaway sentence with little regard to the content of your post has become the jumping off point for dissecting and value-judging your entire life.

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9
Grail 1:16 pm
09 Jun 12
#

The service you are looking for is called a “taxi”. You’ll find them around the place: they look like normal cars with a sign on top that says, “taxi”.

If you think a taxi costs too much, good luck finding an alternative which is available at 3am in the morning when your spoilt brat of a man child wants to get home.

Apologies for being so judgmental, but you’re the one still taxiing your son around at age 22 when he should have friends who can be designated driver for whatever event is on. You are enabling his delinquent behaviour.

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10
Mattenagger 2:06 pm
09 Jun 12
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I don’t know if this relates but I think it does. I often drive past people at bus stops in -5 weather, raining or just generally sh1t out, and think that person is probably going fairly close to where I’m going, would it be weird for me to pull over and just offer them a lift?

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11
chewy14 4:11 pm
09 Jun 12
#

Grail said :

The service you are looking for is called a “taxi”. You’ll find them around the place: they look like normal cars with a sign on top that says, “taxi”.

If you think a taxi costs too much, good luck finding an alternative which is available at 3am in the morning when your spoilt brat of a man child wants to get home.

Apologies for being so judgmental, but you’re the one still taxiing your son around at age 22 when he should have friends who can be designated driver for whatever event is on. You are enabling his delinquent behaviour.

Since when does a taxi driver drive your car home for you?

Perhaps try to read the post before getting on your high horse.

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12
I-filed 5:15 pm
09 Jun 12
#

Dacquiri said :

Maybe spoilt, but no bogan. Academic family, ANU Sociology degree — so maybe clever and manipulative?!

How many generations ?

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13
jessieduck 6:31 pm
09 Jun 12
#

You’re spoiling him! I haven’t lived at home since I was 18 but when I do visit my home town I would never expect to be picked up! I’d get dropped off somewhere but after that I’d be on my own. Taxis are just part of the cost of a night out for most of us!

Same rules apply to my husband- I’ll happily drop him somewhere if he’s having a night out but there’s no way (even before kids) that I’d be collecting his drunk butt from anywhere. In fact, even if he wasn’t drunk he’d be hard pressed to get picked up after 7pm… maybe I’m just mean…

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14
G.R.R 6:54 pm
09 Jun 12
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Grail said :

…You are enabling his delinquent behaviour.

22yo drinker doesnt want to drive and drink. Understanding parent drives them to and fro…and this is enabling delinquent behaviour? Go back to the 40s, Grandpa!

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15
Dacquiri 10:43 pm
09 Jun 12
#

Please note that I said ‘asks me’, not ‘expects me’. And it’s not just me — it’s usually his brother (currently overseas) or his housemate or, if the group is really organised, there will be a designated driver who’s not drinking (happens on a small fraction of the time). My son does ask if it’s convenient for me to drive him and also pays for the petrol, which is enormously cheaper than a taxi and covers my immediate costs. So, under the circumstances — ie, in the absence of a comparable alternative — this seems a pretty sensibe arrangement from the point of the view of the potential drinker. From this point of view — young people trying to keep to a strict budget due to limited income (not a lot of jobs going for young sociologists at the moment) and the seemingly unnecessary cost of paying for a taxi to get you somewhere when you’re sober — having access to an affordable service seems like a pretty attractive option (we are talking about the difference between about $30 each way for a taxi or $5 for a few litres petrol).
And it’s not just the 22yr olds: there are plenty of 30-somethings (yeah, and older) who get caught out because they only intended to only have 1 or 2 drinks but ended up having more because it just seemed like a good idea at the time. There they are in Civic or Braddon or Dickson, after quite a few drinks, with their car. In my experience, a lot of drink-driving happens for practical reasons like this, and it shouldn’t be rocket science to fix it.
For what it’s worth, I am thankful that my son has got the message that you don’t drink and drive and you don’t get into a car with a driver who’s been drinking. I just wish that things were set up so that it is easier for him, and everyone else, to do this.
One answer is more local pubs and a more civilised, normalised drinking culture, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. I lived for many years in a small English village with 9 pubs, which were all within walking distance (or a very short taxi ride) of where patrons lived. Result: no anti-social behaviour and no drink-driving.

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