College and high school students team together to be designated - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

College and high school students team together to be designated drivers

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR (KAIT) - A Mountain Home organization is helping to provide a safe ride for those who might have too much to drink this New Year's Eve.

"We come pick you up. You know, we drive people for free, we don't charge at all. We drive their cars home. And the whole point of it is to keep people safe from getting hit by a drunk driver," said DDOTS Founder Phillip Walker.

It's called DDOTS, which stands for Drunk Drivers Off the Streets. And with New Year's weekend approaching, the organization is gearing up for the demand.

"Last New Year's was one of the busiest nights we ever had. I believe we drove about 86 people," said Walker. He says the organization really began to take shape about a year and a half ago.

"We actually made some cards and put them at the bars and stuff like that. They pretty much said D. D., you know, designated driver, with my personal cell phone number on it," said Walker.

And the message began to spread like wild fire. "It grew so fast. We were driving 25 people a month then. Ever since we started keeping records, we've been driving 350 to 400 people a month," said Walker.

Since August 16, 2010, Walker says the company has already driven over 53 hundred people, 900 cars, and 50-thousand miles. Not only that, he says the service has dropped DUI numbers by roughly 25-percent.

Wednesday, Walker made stops at local New Years Eve hot spots to drop off cards. So if someone parties to hard, they know who to call. "We have a lot of repeat customers and they love it. They think it's a live saver and it really is," said Walker.

But what makes DDOTS so unique, all the volunteers are either high school or college students.

"In this particular case, it's the young people that are stepping up to the plate to help save lives," said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery. He says the service also helps to make the department's job easier.

The company is run solely on donations and sponsorships. The problem is, the funds coming in, can't keep up with the demand.

"The expenses versus that income, it's drastic. It does not even get close. When you talk about the people and money ratio, we're averaging about $2.15 per person on donations and that doesn't cut it," said Walker.

Walker hopes the community will see the need and step up to help back the service. It's a service he hopes will eventually be spread into other areas.

"Our goal is to be a pilot program for other companies and other communities," said Walker.

Walker says they stay within a 10 mile radius of Mountain Home and are expecting a busy night come New Year's Eve.

If you would like to donate to the cause or would just like more information

 

check out their website and facebook page on the right side of the screen. 


Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

 

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