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The Mariners take an easy step to prevent players driving drunk

Mar 6, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

Car Service

By definition, a person who gets behind the wheel of a car while drunk isn’t operating at full mental capacity. I mean, even a guy who hired people whose job it is to keep him safe got behind the wheel while drunk, so you can see that even the outrageously well-reasoned notion of “driving drunk is totally idiotic” doesn’t easily penetrate a drunk’s addled mind.

As such, it’s always more effective to keep the message to the would-be drunk driver simple and direct. Like, say, taking his keys from him. Or calling him cab. Or having a designated driver who will literally sit behind the wheel to keep the drunk away from the controls.  Another way to deal with it is how the Mariners are doing it with their players:

“Two years ago, we came out with cards in English and Spanish giving the numbers of car services players could call for a ride home,” traveling secretary Ron Spellecy said.

“This year, one of the guys at the car service came up with the idea of giving everyone a key fob. I asked our merchandise people, and they said they could come up with one.”

When Spellecy got them he began handing them out to everyone in camp.

I’ve been around people who have had to been talked out of driving drunk. The simplest stuff always works the best. Having a big phone number of a guy whose job it is to drive players and team executives home right on his key chain has to be even more effective than a cab because there won’t be any looking for phone numbers or “I don’t wanna pay for a cab” stuff to get past.  It’s not foolproof of course, but the idea that a player can be so easily reminded that he need only make one phone call, sit back down in the bar and, a few minutes later, have a guy show up in a Lincoln Town car to take him back to his spring condo in comfort strikes me as a great idea.

Good job by the Mariners. Here’s hoping it’s as effective as it seems like it should be.

  1. yankeesgameday - Mar 6, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    Every organization should provide this service for their players. It is much more effective than just hiring a private investigator to follow your covted free agent around with a telephoto lens and recording devices.

    One of the obstacles many people claim to face when they decide to drive home intoxicated is that they don’t want to have to go bacck to the bar the next day to pick up their car. There is a service called “Home James” here in Los Angeles where someone will drive themselves out to your location on a small moped scooter that fits into most trunks or back seats.

    They then drive you home — in your own car — and then leave on their own moped. I have their number programmed into my cell phone but have never had to use it (moslty because I am getting too old and not nearly cool enough to be out drinking in Hollywood anymore).

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1015899,00.html

    • jamie54 - Mar 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      Thank you so much. It’s a great idea not just for the enabled athlete but for everyday person who could benefit from such a service.

    • professorperry - Mar 6, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      I’m impressed with how you started a comment on the Mariners and on drunk driving with a slam at the Red Sox.

  2. stairwayto7 - Mar 6, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    Hey Coco Crisp has the secret service with him and he got pulled over!

  3. faddintl - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Hello, Fathers Against Drunk Driving, or FADD as we call it thinks it’s an excellent idea to protect yourselves from costly DUI or manslauter charges, and would like to open up our service to California professional sports franchises. We have a service called Provide-A-Ride, we provide a Safe-N-Sober ride home to those who call.
    We would like to invite those teams to contract our service for the members of their organization, please visit us at http://www.faddintl.org for contact information. We have headquarters in CA. and FADD Chapters in Missouri and Ohio, and have plans to expand into New York and Canada.
    Thank you and Stay Alive, Don’t Drink & Drive, please support our ARRIVE ALIVE campaign.

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