Saving drinkers from themselves
FOR as long as he can remember, drink driving has had a terrifying impact on Rob Braddock's psyche.
The Hervey Bay resident recalls growing up in Victoria and watching his parents get behind the wheel drunk.
“My parents were drink drivers and they had accidents when I was a kid,” Mr Braddock said.
“Later on, I was in the CFA (Country Fire Authority) in Somerville and we used to see a lot of drink driving fatalities.
“I remember talking to my neighbour about it and then one day it was him in the car.
“I had to pull him, half dead, out of this wreck.”
Those sorts of images are burned into Mr Braddock's memory and have prompted him to become involved with a number of safe drinking campaigns.
He now owns Dial-A-Driver, a service that people can call when they have been drinking alcohol but want to get themselves and their car home safely.
“To me, it's a little bit more than making money, it's a passion,” he says of his established business.
“I look at the courts and it is a bit disheartening to see all the drink drivers and you just think, why didn't they call us?”
But his business and a similar operation called Snows .05 Drivers, are keeping thousands of dangerous drivers off Fraser Coast's roads.
And demand for services like these is growing.
Garry Burraston, who owns Snows with his wife Kelly, says people love the fact that for almost the same cost as a cab, you can get your car home as well.
“It's the convenience of getting your car home as well,” he said.
“Some people you can't even tell they've had a drink, they're just being cautious in case they are over (the legal limit). It's just not worth taking any risks at all.”
Coming up to Christmas, Snows would have to hire extra vehicles to cope with customer demand, Mr Burraston said.
“It is always really busy around that time - they do call it the silly season,” he said.
“We operate seven days a week, so all people have to do is call.”