A local tow and recovery company is approaching the first year of its pilot DUI prevention program.
With the encouragement of the Tallahassee Police Department, Danny B’s Tow and Recovery has implemented a request pick-up and tow service to potentially drunken drivers to decrease the amount of intoxicated drinkers behind the wheel.
This service ensures that the patron and their vehicle will be picked up from the location of the call. For a flat rate of $65, they are safely driven and towed to a location of their choice that is 5-10 miles from the pick-up site. There is an 8-hour recovery period, and after it is over, the customer can call Danny B’s to locate their keys that are hidden for the customer’s safety.
Company Agent, Lisa Bartlof, said that she and her husband [owner] designed this program because they are parents first and have seen too many fatalities and horrible accidents to let DUI’s continue.
“Our focus is to prevent people from getting behind the wheel drunk,” Bartlof said. “We are just as guilty if we have the tools and materials to help and we do nothing at all.”
Danny B’s DUI prevention service works similar to that of standard DUI pick up by the TPD, excluding running the risk of being criminally charged, revealing personal information or increased fines.
“When our service is requested, we do not ask for name, age, or any personal information, we were just happy that you chose to be smart,” Bartlof said. “If the police find you intoxicated, there is a $110 fine, along with an additional $7 for every mile taken outside of Capitol Circle to return the person home.
Towing Administrator, Officer Joe Gandy said he authorized this service to Danny B’s after Lisa Bartlof called and explained the reasoning for the program.
“I had heard of taxi companys offering the service before and thought that it was a great idea for wreckers to get involved because they have the tools,” Gandy said. “You are running the risk of your car being towed anyway if you leave it. Why not get your car and yourself home in one service?”
Danny B’s DUI prevention service has endured much skepticism and negativity despite its positive mission. Some opponents of the service believe that it promotes underage drinking and latent alcoholism.
But Bartlof said she stands strongly behind her program.
“This is not a free ticket, we do not encourage underage drinking,” Barlof said. “My child didn’t come out with wings and a halo, you never know what can happen. We just don’t want people to abuse its purpose.”
Although this program is not specifically targeted toward students, parents do have the option of purchasing a pre-paid DUI prevention card for their child in case of emergency.
Clarence Dingle, a third-year business administration student said that the entire concept and pre-paid prevention cards are a great idea, especially being in a majority university populated area.
“It is such a great idea,” Dingle said. “You are saving your life as well as others, money and your criminal record.”
Danny B’s DUI prevention service is available to all who seek its services. But Bartlof said that she hopes to emphasize the program at local universities by placing a brochure into agenda planners before the start of the next school year. She said she hopes to educate incoming freshman that are na’ve to the college atmosphere.