GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - There is a new business on the Mississippi Coast, and the owners are convinced it will save lives. It's called Coast DD, and is basically a "Designated Driver" for hire.
Brandy Mills and her husband, both lifetime coast residents, are starting the business. It's for people who may have had a little too much to drink and make the wise decision not to drive home.
"For a very low rate, you can give us a call, and we will pick you and your car up," Mills told WLOX News. "We actually send a drive team out and you are always in the comfort of your own car."
That's one of the ways this differs from calling a cab. As Mills explained, a second car follows you and the person the company provides to drive your car. Mills said the idea is already working well in large cities all around the country, including nearby New Orleans. But this is the first time it has come to the Mississippi Coast.
Seven coast lounges and clubs have signed up as sponsors.
"We have them spread out from Gulfport to Ocean Springs, so it helps us to get the word out and make the people use the service," Mills explained.
The businesses that have signed up all have stickers in their windows, and Mills is expecting others to soon follow.
A call from a sponsored lounge costs just $10, as long as the driving distance is no more than seven miles. If you call from anywhere other than a sponsored lounge, the fee is $15. Beyond seven miles, the fee goes up slightly in both cases.
"We want you to use it no matter where you are at," she said. "The only difference is the sponsor is helping their patrons know and trying to save them some money."
The number to call is 1-888-818-MYDD. You can also check them out online at http://www.coastdd.com.
Mills also pointed out they have the wholehearted support of local governments, and also the national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving.