WITH stricter measures and penalties imposed on those caught drinking and driving on the roads, Port Elizabeth party girls are increasingly turning to chauffeur services tailored for those who want to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.
Home James Home, co-owned by Steve Paterson and Tony Honiball, and started a few months ago, has followed the route of chauffeur services such as Good Fellas which started in 2004 in Port Elizabeth.
According to the Arrive Alive website, research has shown that with 50% of people who die on the roads, there is alcohol involved.
"If you know you are going to be drinking, then you can’t drive yourself. The accidents and road-blocks are the leading reasons why people use our chauffeur service,” said Honiball.
"But most importantly, you should get a personal sober chauffeur for your own safety.”
Services like Home James Home work in such a way that the client never has to get behind the wheel after they have consumed alcohol.
"We ensure that we meet the client at the entrance of the venue they need to be picked up from,” said Paterson.
Both Good Fellas and Home James Home provide services only to their members, with a variety of packages that clients can choose from to find one that best suits them.
"The client phones our call centre when he or she is ready to go home and we give an estimated time of arrival, – usually about 30 minutes.
"We encourage the client to stay in the venue, and we call him or her back when the chauffeur has arrived and meets them at the entrance,” said Paterson.
Home James Home has also found that a majority of their clients are female.
"We find that female clients are more cautious about getting home safely. Our female clients also appreciate the service because they don’t have to walk into an empty parking lot alone when leaving an event in the evenings,” Paterson said.
Good Fellas’ national marketing manager, Alison Brussow stressed the importance of consuming alcohol responsibly.
"Having fun is part of life, but must be done responsibly. If you can afford to drink, you can afford to do it responsibly, and getting a sober chauffeur when you know you’re going to be drinking is one responsible way,” said Brussow.
"Although the basic guideline in South Africa is that two drinks within one hour will put you on or over the legal limit, It’s not just two drinks for everybody, it could be just one for other people.
"It all depends on how your body metabolises alcohol. Which is why you need to take those precautions,” she said.
"We try to stress to our clients that it’s not just when you’ve drank excessively or over-indulged that you need a sober chauffeur, but when you’re over the legal limit of two drinks,” said Honiball.