Guy offers free rides for drunk people and gets arrested for it

(Am I allowed to use the phrase “Good Samaritan”? Ahh, fuck it. I’ll use it. It’s not like the source is original anyway.)

So there’s this guy from Quincy, Illinois named Jonathon Schoenakase. His friend died a while ago in a drunk driving accident, and he vowed to do something about it. So what this Good Samaritan did was start up a courtesy driving service that offered free rides home to bar patrons if they’ve had too much to drink, to prevent drunk driving. His service is primarily funded by individual donations and Jonathon himself.

Sounds like a stand-up chap to me. He’s identified a problem and come up with a solution. So what problem could anyone possibly have with him?

Schoenakase began operating Courtesy Rides on January 31, 2008 following a decision to do something about drunk driving after one of his friends was killed by a drunk driver. The service offers free rides to anyone who’s been out drinking and needs a ride home, donations are accepted, but it’s free to all. It was such a success Jonathan added a second car to the effort in 2009, then a bus, and that’s when Diamond Cab service took notice.

They complained to the city that Schoenakase was operating a de facto taxi service without a proper license, but in reality they were mad he was cutting into their profits by offering for free what the Diamond was charging for. Amusingly, he was probably hitting a different demographic, cheapskates who don’t want to pay for taxis but want to get home so they drink and drive, but that’s beside the point. The cab company complained loud enough that the Quincy City Council changed its taxi and limousine ordinance to remove the words “for hire” from its definitions and thus eliminate the loophole Schoenakase was operating under. Following the change, Jonathan applied for a license and the Chief of Police was supposedly about to approve it, but withdrew and said Schoenakase needed to clear up some legal issues.

Since then Schoenakase has continued operating Courtesy Rides and has been arrested twice now during sting operations, once in February and then again just last Saturday.

See, normally, when a business charges money for a service and then someone finds a way to offer that same service for free, that business is pretty much up you-know-what creek. Unless of course you live in America, where the government is always willing to step in and mess with simple free-market principles.

Here’s this poor guy who’s sacrificed his night life to reducing drunk driving by providing a safe way for drinkers to get home, which he’s doing to honor his dead friend, and the local government decides to act in the best interest of the taxi company. Damn shame. But that’s what happens when you give the government the power to interfere in the free-market.

This is such a dick move by the city officials. Just give the guy his $10 license already.

14 thoughts on “Guy offers free rides for drunk people and gets arrested for it

  1. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I
    have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!

  2. I believe everything posted was very logical.
    But, consider this, suppose you typed a catchier post title?
    I am not saying your information is not good.,
    but what if you added something to possibly get people’s attention? I mean Guy offers free rides for drunk people and gets
    arrested for it | Marc Velazquez is kinda plain. You
    ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and see how they create article titles to get people
    interested. You might add a video or a picture or two to get people interested about what you’ve
    written. In my opinion, it would make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  3. Greetings I am so glad I found your website, I really found you by error, while I
    was researching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say
    kudos for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also
    love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have saved
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
    great deal more, Please do keep up the great jo.

  4. A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that you should publish
    more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t discuss such subjects.

    To the next! Kind regards!!

  5. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download
    it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Appreciate it

  6. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.

    I am quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s