By Ted Slowik
Some clever guys in the towing industry have hit upon a scheme to offer inebriated patrons of downtown Naperville watering holes the ability to hitch a ride home for themselves and their vehicles, thus avoiding the possibility of being arrested for DUI, or worse, causing a crash that might injure or kill innocent people.
Let's dispense with the seriousness first: it's wrong to drink and drive. Far too many lives are lost because of drunken drivers, so anything that might help discourage people from getting behind the wheel after having too many is a positive.
If this idea is to succeed anywhere, its best chance is in Naperville, with its thriving downtown bar scene, relatively affluent demographic and police force that has earned a reputation for being all business when it comes to DUIs. In Naperville, you've got the opportunity to lose track of what a good time you're having at Jimmy's or Features or other downtown bar or restaurant. Chances are you can afford to spend a few more bucks for a tow truck to conveniently take home your car instead of merely calling a cab. And you face the likelihood that if you do risk driving after having too much to drink, you're going to get busted.
Having said all that, I will be among the most surprised people in town if this new service takes off. I just can't see people paying good money to have their cars towed home. I could be wrong, but if you're out drinking with friends, hopefully one of them will be considerate enough to drive you home if you've had too many. Then you go back the next day and get your car. That's why people planning to go out drinking designate a driver.
The only people I can see this new service appealing to are well-off loners who wind up having a few too many in a bar -- and who didn't consider the possibility they might have too many that night in the first place -- and who have no friends or family to call or give them a ride home, and who have an aversion to taxis. Seems like a pretty small pool to me.