Posts Tagged 'Korean designated driver companies'

No DD, no problem. Designated driver companies at your service

Let me set the scene:

At a restaurant with some of my teachers late night.  We are eating and drinking beer.  One teacher drove us to the restaurant so he can’t really drink since he needs to drive home.  But we (Micah and me) really want to drink with him since alcohol is a great “social lubricant” (i.e. it turns non-English speaking Korean teachers by day, into very vocal English speakers by night).

Q: What to do?

A: Drink!  And then when you are ready to go home, call up one of Korea’s many “designated driver” agencies. 

It’s a pretty cool concept and I had never heard of it before.  However, a quick Google search showed me that similar services already exist back in the U.S. (but very very few companies do this – and it’s only available in just a small handful of big U.S. cities.  Oh and it’s WAY cheaper in Korea). 

Source

Here’s how it works:

-Call designated driver company and tell them where you are located (hopefully your car is nearby too)

-They send a driver out to your location (for my teacher it took only 10 min).  You give him/her your car keys and you both hop into your car.  And another person from the agency follows you in their own car.

-Driver drives you home. 

-You pay driver 10,000 won (or about $8.50 US).

-Driver hops into the company car.

-You avoid any mishaps (accidents, DUI, losing your car, etc.)

Side note: My teacher did tell me that this can be somewhat dangerous, especially if you are a female and alone.  And the driver’s aren’t necessarily insured.  So, she didn’t really know what would happen/who would pay if the driver got into some sort of accident while driving your car.

Overall, I do think it’s a pretty cool concept (no more having to take turns being the DD).  I’m not sure how these types of companies are doing in the U.S.  But I checked out some of their websites and it’s expensive!  (Yeah, yeah – not as expensive as a DUI).  But not only is there a high flat rate (I saw one at $25), but then there is a per mile charge ($1.50-$2)Yikes! 

Apparently one downside of this service…massive SPAM to your cell phone(since the company has your phone number now).

Since we don’t drive in Korea (and I highly don’t recommend it for 99% of foreigners), it’s not something we’ll be able to try out on our own – but maybe someone else out there has tried it out.

Here’s to safe and responsible drinking! 🙂


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