Anti-drink drive scheme could extend beyond festive season

A Dundee scheme to prevent drink-driving over the festive season could be rolled out to cover the rest of the year.

The You Drink We Drive car recovery service was launched in 2016 by Gary Rooney, who runs Big Recovery.

It invites people who have driven to a party, pub or club with the intention of staying sober, but have then consumed alcohol, to call Big Recovery.

Volunteers will then collect their car and drive it home for them free of charge.

This year, the project was expanded to include four extra members of staff, who all gave their time over the festive period.

Because of the success, Gary is considering making it a regular service throughout the year.

Having lost people close to him through drink-driving, he says it is a cause close to his heart.

“The scheme was successful this year,” said Gary.

“Fewer people actually called us compared to last year, but perhaps this is because the message about drink-driving is hitting home and people are leaving their cars at home.

“Nevertheless, I’m going to continue with the scheme next year and hopefully make it a permanent thing. The company has been expanding so we might even make it a regular service throughout the year.

“We’ll have a sit down around March time and talk through the options.”

You Drink We Drive ran from December 22 until January 7.

Gary admits he was initially apprehensive about whether people would use the scheme in an honest way, and not regard it as a taxi service.

He added: “We had a few people who tried to book a recovery in advance, but I think they had just misunderstood how it works.

“It isn’t something you book if you’re planning to drink, it’s for people who had planned to be sober but ended up having a drink.

“We did find that most people used the service properly though.

“One guy called after having just one pint and was confused about whether he’d be over the limit. He didn’t want to risk it, and he absolutely did the right thing.

“Overall I’m pleased with how it’s all turned out.”