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You drink, we drive?

By 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.

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47 Responses to
You drink, we drive?
eyeLikeCarrots 9:51 am
09 Jun 12
#1

Taxi ?

deye 10:21 am
09 Jun 12
#2

I can’t recall their name, but have seen posters advertising a service along these lines outside some of the Civic night spots.

JonahBologna 10:31 am
09 Jun 12
#3

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

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

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

Dacquiri 12:21 pm
09 Jun 12
#5

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

poetix 12:33 pm
09 Jun 12
#6

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.

Henry82 1:00 pm
09 Jun 12
#7

It’s called a taxi

DrKoresh 1:13 pm
09 Jun 12
#8

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.

Grail 1:16 pm
09 Jun 12
#9

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.

Mattenagger 2:06 pm
09 Jun 12
#10

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?

chewy14 4:11 pm
09 Jun 12
#11

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.

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

Dacquiri said :

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

How many generations ?

jessieduck 6:31 pm
09 Jun 12
#13

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…

G.R.R 6:54 pm
09 Jun 12
#14

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!

Dacquiri 10:43 pm
09 Jun 12
#15

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.

TheDancingDjinn 11:26 pm
09 Jun 12
#16

So if you arrange someone to drive you so you don’t drink and drive your a bogan loser – but if you drink and drive and kill someone your a bogan loser?

Which one is it people?
and because you wouldn’t or your parents wouldn’t do this for you or you for your kids this woman is instantly spoiling her child and creating a horrid future for us? yes a horrid future of 22 yr olds who actually give a shit if they do something dangerous like drink driving, 22 yr olds actually thinking ahead, 22 yr olds thinking of others before themselves – Dear god what is this world coming to??

BimboGeek 2:06 am
10 Jun 12
#17

It’s nice that your family takes care of each other. I’d be way too embarrassed to ask my mum for a ride home drunk at 22 but there’s nothing wrong with you making yourself available as a friend. :)

I’d be concerned about the insurance for such a business. What if an employee is late paying a parking fine and is disqualified? How would a client be compensated if there was a crash and their car was off the road? Would it be possible to insure against unique or modified cars? Would the staff have to ensure the roadworthiness and registration of each vehicle before driving home?

Then there are the implications for the heavily inebriated client. If suffering alcohol poisoning would you be required to take them to hospital instead? Would you need to provide first aid training on spotting the difference between maggot and dying and treating appropriately? How do you get paid if the client passes out or needs medical care?

Sounds risky for a company receiving random calls from unknown clients who are drunk when you first meet them.

If requiring pre-registration you might have time to clear certain issues but it’s a barrier to purchase since your target market has not planned to be caught too drunk to drive home.

Finally the service has to cost significantly less than a parking ticket. Tickets are around $80, I think. A scooter, petrol and maintenance, the time of your driver including assembling and disassembling scooter, booking and office overheads, administration of any checks on the client’s car, …

Jethro 6:27 am
10 Jun 12
#18

TheDancingDjinn said :

So if you arrange someone to drive you so you don’t drink and drive your a bogan loser – but if you drink and drive and kill someone your a bogan loser?

Which one is it people?
and because you wouldn’t or your parents wouldn’t do this for you or you for your kids this woman is instantly spoiling her child and creating a horrid future for us? yes a horrid future of 22 yr olds who actually give a shit if they do something dangerous like drink driving, 22 yr olds actually thinking ahead, 22 yr olds thinking of others before themselves – Dear god what is this world coming to??

+1

A parent picking up a drunk kid is now a bad thing?

I-filed 10:57 am
10 Jun 12
#19

Dacquiri said :

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).
.

Hang on a sec … your OP asked why there isn’t “a service” for this problem. If your son is on a tight budget, and his budget for his lift home is $5, how was he ever going to pay “a service” other than his mum to do it?
If he can afford to get drunk in town, his drinking budget would have to be well over $30 for the evening. His options appear to be: halve the number of drinking nights, bus in, and pay for a taxi home; or keep humbugging mummy.

johnboy 11:29 am
10 Jun 12
#20

I have to say if I ever called my mother up for a ride home after a night on the booze I sincerely doubt i’d ever do it twice.

Budgeting for getting home really is part of the deal.

Jethro 12:03 pm
10 Jun 12
#21

johnboy said :

I have to say if I ever called my mother up for a ride home after a night on the booze I sincerely doubt i’d ever do it twice.

Budgeting for getting home really is part of the deal.

To be sure, most 22 year olds should work out how to get home without mum or dad, but I don’t think it warrants the level of criticism on here. Getting a parent to drive you home when you are drunk sounds far more responsible than some of the other options.

Mysteryman 12:08 pm
10 Jun 12
#22

I-filed said :

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

poetix said :

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.

johnboy said :

I have to say if I ever called my mother up for a ride home after a night on the booze I sincerely doubt i’d ever do it twice.

Budgeting for getting home really is part of the deal.

I endorse these comments.

Watson 2:48 pm
10 Jun 12
#23

I think Canberra is too spread out to make such a service work and it would turn out to be more expensive than a taxi.

I do think they should abolish Saturday morning paid parking. I got stung once in Civic when my 2 drinks after work turned into quite a few more. I would’ve still been over the limit when the paid parking ended at noon, so the only way I could’ve avoided a fine was to drink drive.

If you do know you’re going to be drinking, the best thing to do is to take a bus to where you want to go and then share a taxi to get home. Pushies are another option (I think it’s actually illegal to ride a bike when intoxicated, but hey) if not to where you want to go out, at least closer to it or to a friend’s place so you can share a taxi to there and then ride home.

It’s great that your son asks you for help to avoid drink driving, but I too would’ve been highly embarrassed to be picked up by my mum at that age! Not that I would’ve ever dared to ask her because it would’ve just confirmed her suspicion that I was completely insane.

scorpio63 6:40 pm
10 Jun 12
#24

I too have been a taxi for dozens upon dozens of kids (17-22yr olds) over Canberra virtually fulltime on weekends for years (something I chose to ‘give back’ to the community); some not friends with my then teenagers and been there for many of them again something I chose to do in this day and age to make their lives safer and others on the roads. We all give in different ways!

So while some of these posters criticise Dacquiri, just realise it may be your teenager who has received a lift home from civic with either Dacquiri, myself or some other kind hearted parent over the years.

I wondered the same Dacquiri for years and hoped Action could have provided later services ie 1am – 4am to the southside in particular – great you are raising the issue.

mattapalooza 8:00 pm
10 Jun 12
#25

It seems not too many people have caught a cab at 3am in Civic lately…or a cab….ever.
It is extremely overpriced and I have no idea how anyone can afford to go out into town, have a few drinks and come home in a cab without blowing the pay.
What sort of money are the kids earning today?
Lets say you live in Gungahlin – you cruise into Civic, they’ll hit you up $35…..you buy yourself 4 beers that are roughly around $6.00 at any bar in town these days….and then you’re up for another $35 ride home.
$94 for a quiet night out and a few beers?

I’m all for the OP offering to go and pick up their kids! Good on you for realising the public transport system in this city is beyond pathetic!

I think a taxi from Civic to Banks is something like $80 one way….surely that can’t even be an option for the kiddies!

wildturkeycanoe 8:31 am
11 Jun 12
#26

Dacquiri said :

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.

I agree with i-filed, if they can’t afford the taxi fare and are sensible enough not to drink and drive, they probably should be mature enough to sacrifice their social life by either not drinking that extra $30 worth or buying a carton and drinking at home. If public transport is not an option, why not jump on a fold-up scooter if it’s $35 for a taxi home [that'd be about 5km at 3 a.m by my calculations.]
Going to the club for just a couple, then staying for a big night out and having no money to get home is just poor self control. What’s more important, the social life or getting by until next pay day? Maybe whilst walking home at 3am in -5 degrees would be a good way to reflect on “I thought it was a good idea at the time”. Not rocket science at all.

TheDancingDjinn 9:18 am
11 Jun 12
#27

wildturkeycanoe said :

Dacquiri said :

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.

I agree with i-filed, if they can’t afford the taxi fare and are sensible enough not to drink and drive, they probably should be mature enough to sacrifice their social life by either not drinking that extra $30 worth or buying a carton and drinking at home. If public transport is not an option, why not jump on a fold-up scooter if it’s $35 for a taxi home [that'd be about 5km at 3 a.m by my calculations.]
Going to the club for just a couple, then staying for a big night out and having no money to get home is just poor self control. What’s more important, the social life or getting by until next pay day? Maybe whilst walking home at 3am in -5 degrees would be a good way to reflect on “I thought it was a good idea at the time”. Not rocket science at all.

Isn’t riding a bike or scooter or skateboard while drunk illegal? In the 90s a friend of mine whom had muscular distophy got in trouble for driving his electric wheelchair home drunk.

milkman 9:19 am
11 Jun 12
#28

mattapalooza said :

I think a taxi from Civic to Banks is something like $80 one way….surely that can’t even be an option for the kiddies!

If they can afford to buy drinks at club prices, they can afford to make their own way home. Let’s not forget, these are not kids.

Dacquiri 11:46 am
11 Jun 12
#29

OK, I hear you, but it’s not always quite that simple. It doesn’t seem to be so much about going for a night out and buying drinks at club prices — it’s often something like a party at a friend’s house, or an event like the beer fest thing at Olim’s, etc. So I guess it’s a mix of situations: when they know they’ll be drinking a lot and don’t want to be stuck with a car that can’t be driven, and the situation of when you do have your car with you because you weren’t intending to drink that much, but did. For what it’s worth, when my son isn’t out, he seems to be providing a pretty regular chauffeur service for heaps of his friends, too. And as for prioritising their social life: that seems to be a ‘given’, in the sense that so much of their whole identity is wrapped up in getting together with their mates. So there certainly is a lot of socialising at friends’ houses and drinking there.

Grail 12:30 pm
11 Jun 12
#30

Compare the cost of a taxi to the actual running costs of your car. Fuel is usually only 1/3 of the cost: you have registration, insurance and services to count as well.

If there are no friends available to be designated driver, the issue really becomes poor planning. Heading out on the town in the hope that a lift home will materialise is really poor planning. Driving someone home from Civic to the outer edges of Canberra is a 1 hour round trip: surely there’s a bus running in that time which will take the lad closer to home?

Planning a night out might seem boring to some people, and be too much like a chore for others. We’re never going to re-establish a manufacturing sector in this country if people aren’t even capable of planning how to get home after a night out.

Just leaving $50 cash aside from the drinking budget is the easiest option: catch a cab home.

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