You drove a group of friends to the bars on Main Street in Nashua. You had a few drinks at Michael Timothy's. Then you had a few more at the Peddler's Daughter, and then a few more at Penuche's.
You've gone from designated driver to possible drunk driver. So, what do you do now?
Certainly, you don't want to drive home drunk, and you're probably too far away to walk home. You can take a taxi and leave your car, but when you come back to get it tomorrow, it probably will be towed or riddled with parking tickets.
The solution? Call to have your own car towed.
For around $50 in the Nashua area, Brian Doak, of Doak Towing & Recovery, will put your car on his flatbed, put you in the cab and take you both home.
"I don't care if it is 2 in the morning," said Doak, of Hudson. "I will put my boots on and get my truck and go get you. I am usually up late anyways, and I would rather not have people driving drunk."
A few years ago, Doak began putting laminated fliers around bars in Nashua that said he would tow patrons and their car home if they had too much to drink.
Recently, he has been adding this same promise to the back of his business cards and is trying to push the idea by word of mouth.
"I am just trying to provide one more avenue of escape for them to get home," Doak said. "I deliver the car to their house and put it in their driveway and there it is at home when they wake up. It is a lot cheaper than getting busted for a DWI."
Doak lists his cell phone number on the business card, allowing potential customers to call him at all hours of the night.
"It is not some Joe Schmo sitting behind the wheel of the truck picking you up," Doak said. "It is the owner of the company."
He says the police and bars have taken notice, as well.
"The police department knows about it and they absolutely like the idea," Doak said. "And the bar owners were more than happy to put up the fliers because it gets their patrons home safe."
Doak doesn't limit his towing to the bar scene. In fact, some people he picks up may not even be 21.
"We don't condone kids drinking and driving," Doak said. "But if they choose to make that stupid mistake, then I would rather get them home safe and see their parents deal with them instead of the police. It really gives them an option for getting home."
Doak has seen the power of his idea on the streets firsthand. While outside Peddler's Daughter one night, he was putting the car of a repeated caller on his flatbed. While in the process of helping his customer, the vehicle in front of his truck got pulled over and the driver was busted for driving while intoxicated.
"I told my customer that it looks like he was probably pretty glad he called me," Doak said.
But for all the people Doak brings home, he feels there are plenty more who don't give him a call.
"I get some, but I don't get a lot," Doak said. "But everyone that I get off the road is one less that is not going to crash and kill themselves or someone else's family member. It leaves the cops and the court systems from dealing with it and everyone keeps their license."
Despite the sometimes loud and brash nature of tipsy patrons, Doak has no problem dealing with them.
"Drunks are a lot nicer when they have to deal with me instead of the police," he said.
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This article appears in the July 31 2009 issue of New Hampshire Business Review