Sidecar

Drink -- then let these guys drive

If there's one thing we love more than getting 'faced, it's getting home safely in our own 1976 Volaré. Enter The Driver's Seat: After you pre-register on www.thedrivers-seat.com, you can party like it's 1999, then call 314-961-4455 and one of Todd Morlen's employees will scoot over on a scooter, throw the bike in your trunk and drive your drunk ass home. The fee's $20 plus $1.75 for each additional mile, no matter how many of your crowd pile in.

Todd patiently took time out of training his scooter armada to chat for this special New Year's Eve Guide Unreal feature.

Unreal:How'd you get started doing this?

Todd Morlen: I've seen it in England and in LA. They were successful and the community was very excited about it. I thought, "What a great opportunity to help reduce the number of intoxicated drivers out on the roads."

Scooters in LA, sure. But what about St. Louis' famed "wintry mix"?

If we've got a wintry mix, we obviously don't want to put anybody out there on a scooter. Our biggest concern is for the safety of the driver, and we also want to make sure that we're safe in the customer's car. But if the roads are passable by car, we can go too.

Why shouldn't I just call a cab?

The biggest advantage is you have the car the next day. One of the biggest reasons people decide to drink and drive is because they don't want to leave their car behind someplace overnight.

Would your driver help clean up if we puke in our own car?

Actually, that happened Friday night. I'm going to have each one of the drivers provide a barf bag, as funny as that sounds. And he'll also have some mints on him.... At least we can keep the car clean by using that bag if we need to.

Would it be any cheaper if we just hopped on the scooter with you?

Sure! We'll get you home for $5 if you can ride on the handlebars and don't mind the cold and the rain or anything.

Let's say I like to start drinking, oh, say noonish. Are you available during the day?

I can send somebody out if I need to, but normal operation hours are from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday if you were just to call in. But if you're a member [with a reservation], you can call anytime you want.

Can we buy you a drink?

Hey, O'Doul's or whatever! I quit two years ago just for the heck of it, to see if I could.

 
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