Ensuring tonight’s DD just got easier with two area driving companies
By Nicole Wroten
We’ve all been there. We’ve gone out to a bar with friends only expecting to have a drink or two. One drink turns into five and before you know it, it’s last call and you’re tanked, unable to drive home.
So, what to do? Call a cab and wait around for it to pick you up, leaving your car downtown? Or risk driving home and killing someone and yourself?
Thanks to Cody Bratton, owner of Dayton-based business, Divine Parking, you now have a third, safer option when it comes those end-of-the-night decisions. Divine Parking offers a service where you can give them a quick call as you realize you’ll need a ride. They’ll come pick you up within 15-25 minutes and drive you and your car home for a reasonable fee. You’ll have your car, a sense of safety and maybe, in the morning, your sobriety back.
Diving Parking started out as a simple valet service for Bratton at Fleming’s Steakhouse at the Greene. Night after night, he was pulling cars around for customers and handing keys back to drivers who were obviously too intoxicated to get behind the wheel.
Bratton initially began offering this designated driving service to customers at Fleming’s to prevent someone from getting into an accident, maybe resulting in his valet business ultimately getting sued. But it eventually spread throughout the Greene and now, eight months later, to the entire city of Dayton, and beyond into Cincinnati and Columbus.
“We’d much rather people use us instead of driving,” Bratton said. “We’re trying to save lives and we’re concerned about drunk driving.”
In September, another similar designated driving service opened in the Dayton area called BeMyDD. Co-owners Alexa Mikovich and Arthur Simanovsky, high school friends turned entrepreneurs, had a similar concern when going out with friends in college and they decided to start a business out of it.
“Everyone has had someone close to them who either has gotten a DUI, been in an accident where drinking was a factor, or even known someone who has died due to drinking and driving,” Milkovich said. “We’re trying to prevent that.”
Based in Solon, Ohio, BeMyDD services allow you to call their 1-800 number (if you planned poorly and are already out) or make a reservation online ahead of time to have two drivers dispatched to your location. One driver gets out and drives you and your car home, while the other driver follows.
BeMyDD’s fee is based on mileage. The cost is a $25 fee, plus $2.95 per mile for the first 10 miles and $1.50 per mile each additional mile after 10.
At Diving Parking, the prices vary, depending on how far away you are from home. A fee of $40 will be charged to get you and your car home, within a 20-mile radius. A lesser fee of $30 will be charged if you’re within a five-mile radius of your final destination. It’s $1.95 per mile outside of the radius.
“A $4,000 ticket and a DUI charge is a lot cheaper versus $40,” Bratton said.
Each business also offers what they call a “chauffer” service, where you can reserve a driver for the night to drive your own car around for the night. BeMyDD’s rate for the driver is $12.50 per hour and Diving Parking’s rate is $12 per hour.
Milkovich said her customers like this service because they’ve still got their own car. “You can listen to your own music and it doesn’t matter if you leave your wallet in the backseat because it’s your car,” she said.
When comparing prices only, a customer might think they’re just better off calling a cab company. But if you’re in a situation where you don’t want to leave your car in a bar parking lot overnight, you’re with a bunch of people and don’t want to be charged per head in a cab, or you just don’t feel like waiting two hours for a cab at 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, Divine Parking and BeMyDD offer something different.
“Around Dayton, you’re waiting two hours for a cab,” Bratton explained. “People don’t like that.”
Bratton said he expects a rush with upcoming holidays. Likewise, BeMyDD has dispatched extra drivers for weekends leading up to the holidays and especially New Year’s.
Milkovich said that, especially with this being their first holiday season, she hopes people will be mindful and plan ahead, rather than drink and drive. “It’s very rewarding when we get a call and fulfill a reservation,” she said, “because it gets everyone home safely.”
Put both companies’ numbers in your phone before you go out tonight. It might save your life.
Call Diving Parking at 1-800-304-4090. Call BeMyDD at 1-877-U-BEMYDD, or visit them online at www.BeMyDD.com.