Too Drunk to Drive? Car Won't Start? Call the Police . . .

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Now I have heard it all. A small town in the Florida panhandle has decided that drunks need friends, too. And that those friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And further that those friends will instead drive the drunks home, to within 25 miles. And that those friends will be members of the Shalimar, FL police department. Not kidding. If you are ever in the area, find yourself too drunk to drive, dial up 911 for a free ride home.

I wonder how long before cab companies start complaining about this public service? Then again, drunks are notorious for throwing up when in vehicles in motion, so they aren’t the most popular fares around. And now we have the taxpayer sponsored vomit squad. Excellent.

Shalimar is really not a hotbed of crime, and there are a lot of bars in the area and not much else to do, so maybe this is a good idea? But with gas prices what they are, and the police extending this service to people who have car trouble (wonder what triple A makes of this?), it seems like a huge waste of resources.

Shalimar is a super small, blink and you’ll miss town, but it’s right next to Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island. Both of which fill with tourists getting their drunk on from April to September. So I wonder how the police will work this: will they pick up only Shalimar residents? Or only within Shalimar city limits? And what happens the first time they refuse to give some drunk a ride based on whatever criteria, and that drunk or worse that dead drunk’s family sues the city?

Maybe this hits me wrong because here in Massachusetts, Romney has cut our police and fire fighters to the point that municipalities are squealing because when something happens, there just aren’t enough people to handle it, or they are too far away when the call comes. Maybe I’m just jealous that a town can have so many police that they can serve in this way. Or maybe it’s not the best idea ever?

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20 thoughts on “Too Drunk to Drive? Car Won't Start? Call the Police . . .

  1. Now I’ve heard it all. This sounds like community enabling to me. Sure, why heck everyone knows that Otis here drinks a bit, but sherrif Mayberry needs some help handling transport of Otis and all his products of interbreeding to their homes rather than the cell now. Why , we don need to be placing these harmless drunks in careration with the as murderers! Just get ya’llselves a hatwagon and we kin all cart em back and forth from one crawl to the next!

  2. I really don’t think that this is a brillant use of the Police Force, but maybe in a small town then its a good idea. But like you say what happens when it stops. You give people something once and they expect it for the rest of the time.

    It would be no good anyone being burgled on a Friday or Saturday night in Torquay if the Police in my home town had this service. Think they would be giving people a lift home until the next Friday night!

    Great blog again Fuzz x

  3. I hate people drinking and driving, I heard so many deaths including one of my friend’s brother. The worst thing most of the time, they are alive, but the people who don’t drink die. So, if this police can help prevent accidents it is all good, but I doubt they can do it for a long time. Services like these and education are cut and see how much money they are spending on wars and defense. If friends can help these drunk go home then it will be nice. If they really want to drink they should stay at home for everybody else’s benefits. It is tough topic Fuzzy. I say Cheers but I don’t drink only rarely but will never drive drunk for sure :).

  4. roflmfao, that is TOO funny, River!! You don’t know how close I came to mentioning Mayberry!! teehee

    Thanks, Snuggles! And you are so right, on weekends, esp, the police will have their hands full driving people home. Maybe the criminals will take the weekends off? LOL

    Chris, you are such a gentle, loving soul. Driving drunk is definitely bad news, so I’m glad that you will never do that! Huggs.

  5. This is clearly a catch 22 situation..Its great that the drunks will be off the road but won’t it encourage a drinking culture? How odd for resrouces and money to go to this cause…I say to heck with the free rides…I say “Book’em Danno!”…But if giving ’em a ride home saves lifes it is worth it on some level. I do agree with you though, is this just for town drunks or for all who visit? Have they thought this through?

    Husband says to wife “lets go out tonight, we can even have more to drink, I understand we don’t have to pay for a cab home!”…wife says, “Cab? I wasn’t going to pay for a cab, I was going to drive!”

  6. From the law enforcement side of things this is good community service. Yes, people can be stupid and make dumb choices and yes, it migh cost me a little extra time. You ought to see the stupiditiy level rise once they get out of town. I would much rather help our citizens stay out of trouble rather than be busting them when they are. It irritates me when the all mighty dollar raises it ugly head when I help someone on the agency’s dollar rather than call a towing company that will charge $250 just to see their mugs. Yes, most law enforcement officers have more pressing things to do, but I hope to hell that they would rather be doing the things that give them a good name in their communities.

  7. I think the idea is to stop tying up the police department. Do you know how many officers and how long it takes to clean up one death scene with one death, much less one with several? If they can do it, I say go for it.

  8. Amber, what a great point. . . won’t it encourage a drinking culture? (Having lived very near there, I would say that not much encouragement is needed. LOL) But that’s a very interesting point to ponder. Huggs

    Gregg, how cool to get the “official’s side” of this. Law enforcement already does some of this in many communities, but the idea that “public intoxication” is a “crime” that will be ignored, or shoved into the back of a police car, is a bit tricky. I don’t know, it’s tricky. Huggs.

    Ooooh, Pris, you do make a good point, too! But what about the rides for peeps whose cars have broken down (and that happens there, no car inspections)? I dunno, I’m not convinced, but I do see your side of it. Huggs.

  9. well, it does seem like a waste of resources. perhaps it would be better to have volunteers and donated cars used for that sort of thing. maybe people could still call the police, or maybe bars could have a special number, i don’t know. i can see the pros and cons in this plan.

    interesting post. 🙂

  10. Hi Fuzzy,
    I don’t think that the police should be taken away from their duties to drive drunks for free ~ their services protecting the community would be better served doing exactly that.

    Here in Oshawa we have a drunk driving service, a lot like taxis but only for people who’ve had too much to drink. All the drinker has to do is call Keys To Us and a driver, his partner and a car will be dispatched to whichever bar/tavern/watering hole to pick up the inebriated one and his or her car. Mr. WobblyPop gets into HIS vehicle along with the dispatched driver {so any pukefests happen in the owner’s own vehicle …heh} and the partner drives along behind in the Keys vehicle. Once the drunk is home and has paid the fare, the driver gets back into the Keys vehicle with his partner and is off to the next call.

    The man who came up with this idea lost his brother in a drunk driving accident where he wasn’t at fault, and wanted to implement something within the region of Durham to prevent other deaths from occurring. It has turned out to be a very good thing, here.
    @@ hugs, G. xo

  11. All good points. But Fuz I don’t agree with some… The job of the police does not mean only work after the crime is commited but is also to prevent crime from happening. Letting somebody drive drunk is more irresponsible than what little money has been spent hauling drunks home. If citizens are really concerned there are alternatives like Gloria’s.
    Besides you don’t want them wasting time at the local Dunkin Donuts when they could be hauling potential crime protrayers home. Better to eat donuts and wait for an accident to occur.

  12. Kerry, now that I’m reading everyone’s views, I can see the pros and cons of it, too. Don’t you just hate that? LOL Huggs.

    What a super idea, Gloria! It reminds me of the sort of services the student unions have for drunk students (shuttles, people to walk them home, these sorts of things). Of course, I’m such a cynic, I wonder about liability should there be an accident (they happen when the driver’s sober, too, of course), particularly with the drunk person’s car. Then again, I guess if they willingly relinquish the keys . . . . Super idea! And you really have to admire the man for setting it up and building something positive out of his grief. Such things awe me. Thanks for sharing, Gloria!! Huggs.

    Heyman, you make a good point, law enforcement isn’t just about enforcing the law (well, that didn’t come out right, but you know what I mean!). I like Gloria’s citizen-sponsored plan MUCH better than the police one. Teehee on the donuts; if cops really got to eat that many donuts all the time, I’d have become one. I LOVE donuts!! Huggs. :))

  13. Hei Fuzz.

    The long-arm of the law – goes to show what to the lengths that it will go… Take care and do keep well. Rii xx

  14. I remember being in a town somewhere around Yonkers, New York, where there was actually a person who operated a vehicle and took all the drinkers from bar to bar and home for a small fee. It was kind of like a cab service for drinkers. One alternative that I would like to examine to curb drunk driving would be to study whether allowing the bars to stay open 24 hours and to require bars to serve fresh coffee and some food would result in less drunk driving. I can’t tell you how many bars I have been in where people order shots at last call and binge in the final minutes a bar is open then go out and drive. I have often wondered whether a designated closing time is wise. In any event, I like the idea of a cab for drunks and in New York it was done privately, but I don’t know how sucessful it was.

  15. If police goes for this service…How they will save the people..

    As already one friend said this is possible for small cities…

    And also i agree with Heyman……AZAD

  16. Hey Wyatt, and welcome! What ever happened to the “designated driver” campaign? That worked; I seem to recall even designating a driver or two in my time (and being the bored DD, as well). Sounds like a good idea, though.

    Good point, Azad, thanks for posting! 😀

  17. If I did as much actual law enforcement as I do education, I would have a miserable job. Officers are given a considerable amount of latitude with each situation. I work in a park that has a complete ban on alcohol. It certainly keeps abuse in check, but you should of seen my reaction when I pulled into a picnic area and there was a bus with about 60 lawyers, each one of them with a bottle of wine.

    Grin

  18. “excush me ossifer…..ahm too darned drinked to drove…could you gimme a ride home pleash? Hey, d’you wanna be my friend, man?” LOL

    What a totally ridiculous idea. Loved your acerbic comments on how this system, taken to (il)logical extremes would work. Very funny. I have to agree with you on this one, Fuzzy. Holy cow, that must be the first time!!! LOL

  19. See, I’d have liked to have been at that party, Gregg!! Guess that’s a difference between us there. :))

    No way! We agree on something, Mitch? Is the earth still rotating? Did the sky turn blood red? Is that hooves I hear echoing in the distance? LOL. Huggs.

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