Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DD For Hire

Despite the negativity associated with it, drunk driving is one of America’s leading industries. While I’d rather not upset the cash flow in these turbulent economic times, I truly think it’s time the USA reforms its policies on drinking before/while driving. Especially since…umm many innocent people die! Not to mention our fear of drunk driving has created one of the most horrid institutions of self-sacrifice: the designated driver. Seriously, no one should ever have to suffer that fate.

But in Japan, there is someone willing to sacrifice their Friday night to be your DD. Say hello to Daiko (代行) the uber cool taxi service where two drivers show up to your saucy location and drive to wherever your dumb ass has left your car. While one driver remains in the taxi, the other exits the vehicle, takes your keys and DRIVES YOUR CAR HOME FOR YOU!

I was fortunate enough to experience the Daiko magic in the little town of Misawa which just happens to support a thirsty American air force base. Apparently, according to a friend, the Japanese government subsidizes this program thus resulting in the Daiko only costing $10. Talk about a bargain, a.) transport for 4 to our car b.) Designated driving to the apartment. Can’t beat it! The only drawback is that the experience was so earth shattering that is sobered me up.

So a friend and I got to talking and we discussed our “anti-drunk driving policy” for the NEW AMERICA! I think you’ll like it, and if you don’t, well then you’re just a dumb asshole.

1.)ZERO TOLERANCE: Just like Japan, America needs to adopt a system whereby if your blood alcohol registers ANYTHING above 0, you are driving while impaired/intoxicated. If you want to take the risk, then you should be prepared to be busted up, at least financially! : ) I’ve honestly felt this way for quite some time, and I recall one idiot arguing, “well you have to realize that we rely on our cars.” AND YOUR POINT? Stay at home and drink then. Look partying or even a casual drink is a WONDERFUL thing, but it’s still a privilege. If you want to enjoy it, then do it responsibly.

2.)INCREASED FINES: I’m not sure how I ultimately feel about increased “sin taxes” on alcohol, but why not up the fines for drunk driving. Look, save your pity, these people broke the law and put lives in jeopardy, so let them pay through the roof. Sure, I may have “crossed the line” before, but do you see me in handcuffs? Nope. Plus with the 0 tolerance plan in affect, I doubt as many people will dare to take the risk. I for one would not dare risk it. Plus the increased fines could also be used towards providing more adequate public transportation.

3.) DAIKO: Do I need to say more? But to make this happen the government needs to step in and strangle the insurance companies to easily allow for the Daiko drivers to man your vehicle. The name for this service must be called Daiko as an homage to the Japanese who use it and rock it so well. Also, if possible it would be a smooth move to use any left over alcohol tax or drunk driving fines to subsidize the service so that:
a.) It’s affordable
b.) Creates jobs
c.) Eliminates the need to tip. Get rid of that selfishness like NOW!

4.) BREATHALYZER: Every business that sells or serves alcohol, even grocery stores, must have on the premises a working breathalyzer with free use to the public. If possible, have a non-profit company or a government agency manufacture the breathalyzers. What does that equal: JOBS! And please spare me the, “who’s going to pay for it?” Umm, the place selling the alcohol. Look if they can’t afford a breathalyzer then they don’t need to be selling something as fun as a few drinks. If this is a real problem, then I guess we could lower the bar license a tad. I’m open for compromise, permitting it makes sense.

5.) BAR CALLS: Every bar/restaurant serving alcohol must either have a free public phone w/ a directory of all taxi and Daiko services or be willing to call one for you. I’m sure most bars already do this, but we need to make it more readily available, especially for the timid drunks at heart.

6.) EMBRACE ALCOHOL: Make it legal EVERYWHERE in the US to publicly walk around while drinking or intoxicated. But if you still brown-bag your 40, then the police are obligated to high-five you. Put your ill-guided beliefs aside, this is a great idea. First of all it will be easier to spot who shouldn’t be driving, but also it will provide so much free entertainment. Remember, alcohol is not the problem; it’s the losers who hinder the safety of others while under its influence. Perhaps we should even lower the drinking age to 20 or 19. Maybe lower it each year that drunk driving statistics drop considerably. It would be great to see America with the legal drinking age at 5 years old, but handling it responsibly.

So America, or the 8 people who read this, what do you think of this drunken yet sobering plan of action?



Jeancarlo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeancarlo said...

I've gotta disagree on this: zero tolerance. Because American's in general have a life philosophy of jolliness, and sarcasm, but that's besides the point. I couldn't stand to see these rights failed because of a small level of alcohol, be it a glass of nice wine for celebrating or just a cool lager. It's probably because I'm such a foodie, but I feel I have to respect that even though I really don't like drinking. I prefer the liquor burnt out into a sauce so I can taste it.

People in Japan do not rely on cars as much as we do, it's our own fault we've created this huge ass country I guess. They have laws that affect their lifestyle, as rigid as it is.

Another thing that's wrong with us American's is that we aren't trusting. We think everyone's out to screw us. That's why we have a pretty fluid government with checks-and-balances. Daiko aren't worth it. Just leave your car and walk your drunk ass home.

Your "lowering age" as a reward idea is just dumb. Our government wants to "protect" or at least regulate our health, so they set a high age limit. At the same time, there's a double standard: war. I think it's because our nation's leaders have become accustomed to being the "world leader" or the policeman of the word that makes us think that we need to have great numbers to keep a common defense. I'm very afraid of a nationalized militia, but I see it's necessity: direct order.

(Different note, I think we should just mind our business and remove our claimed soils from other nations which are just "preventatives." We have become such hypocrites.)

The most effective way to increase fines to me would be to directly levy insurance rates, but then there are two bad reasons for this. "Big government," and well, they can just change insurance. Paying fines for any kind of punishment seems to me like the government is taking advantage. I believe if we're going to have a punishment already instated like income tax, they should levy THAT, if anything. Granted, I hate the institution of income tax, its totally un-American, but if we could somehow levy the rates it would be effective. The way I see it, if you're trying to screw with the Welfare of our nation, you should be punished. Then again, what if you're broke and then arrested? I don't know what happens then. The down side: the big population of homeless people will take advantage.

Remember the truth of cause and effect. All of the problems a government has, there are other problems. Eventually everything comes down to a pretty strict necessity for standards. And quite frankly, the Legal Drinking Age for example, we don't have much of a care for that yet.