Hiring ‘Designated Drivers’
We’ve all been there: having a few drinks with friends, being responsible and taking a cab home, or the alternative, correct? Then comes the dreaded task the next morning of having to retrieve your car by either finding a ride from someone or calling yet another cab. Recently, in Buffalo, New York a new company has emerged: Designated Drivers of Buffalo, which was founded by Michael Mule, who had worked in the hospitality business for years. The company has professional drivers who transport intoxicated patrons home from bars and restaurants in their own vehicles. The company sends out two uniformed employees to pick up patrons and drive them home in their own car for a reasonable fee, about the cost of two cab rides.
One of the most widely used excuses that people use to drive home after they have had a few is that they need their car for work the next day. Recently, Erie County and several bars and restaurants in the Buffalo area have teamed up in a pilot program with Designated Drivers to help curb drunken driving and to encourage participating bars/restaurants to train their employees to properly serve customers. Erie County is by no means using tax payer dollars to launch this program. Many local restaurants and beer distributors have donated money to help fund the proposed program. Under the new county program, the STOP-DWI Office will use the donated funds to purchase vouchers that will cover the cost of the flat fee. Those will be given to participating bars and restaurants to give to intoxicated patrons.
Many supporters of this service are hoping the trend grows nationwide, as the primary goal is to raise awareness of programs designed to curb drunken driving. Many cities have cab companies and bar/restaurants that offer vouchers to intoxicated patrons for cab fares, but only on celebrated holidays such as New Years and St. Patrick’s Day. Here in Colorado, there are a few companies that offer full designated driver services, which will be the subject of a future post. To find out of your state or county offers ‘designated driver’ services in your area (that also bring your car home), check out Designated Drivers of Buffalo.