Designated driver for hire - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Designated driver for hire

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Dane Kimokeo's friend got into a drunk driving accident, he got an idea -- become a professional designated driver.

"The business that I do provides a solution from people getting behind the wheel. And they get their car home at the same time," he said.

Kimokeo and a co-worker meet the customer at a bar or party. While the co-worker follows, Kimokeo drives the client home in the customer's car.

"They feel comfortable to just fall asleep. And I just wake them up. 'Hey, sir. We've arrived at your home and here are your keys,'" he said.

Lawyers use him. So do realtors and military officers who can't risk a drunk driving violation.

"People are getting home safely and you're potentially lowering the amount of DUIs," he said.

Business comes mostly from bars. Even some bar owners and managers, like Nadya Yamasaki, use the service

"It's so much cheaper than paying for a DUI attorney, or paying for the machine that you have to blow into in your car for getting out of jail. It's a cost there's no price to it," she said.

Regulars pay $25 a month plus a charge per call and per mile. Others pay a $40 flat fee and a mileage charge. His insurance covers the vehicle while he's behind the wheel. He averages five trips a night.

"It's not five, six guys' lives that are saved. It's more people than that," he said. "Potentially, they could have caused an accident to someone else, and killed someone else."

Designated driver businesses are popular on the mainland. Kimokeo's company is a little more than a year old. And according to him, it's gaining traction.

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