My short bio: I am a Professional Designated Driver, I own/work for a service in Detroit Mi that drives people home in the comfort of their own vehicles when they have had to much to drink. (Detroit has no mass-transit system and cabs are unreliable) I've been doing this for 7yrs and I have seen a lot of crazy things (fights, Naked Women, drug deals, sex... etc.) and have been almost killed twice on the road. Ask me anything. I love my job.

My Proof: I started with a company called The Designate in 2007. When they closed they where the largest DD service in the US. Our Company opened in 2010 it is called Detroit Designated Driver or DetroitDD for short. our Site is here and here

Comments: 1676 • Responses: 98  • Date: 

trailspice789 karma

Dang, in college I would drive people to the Mexican restaurant to get hammered on margaritas and in Exchange they'd buy my dinner. Now I feel like I was selling myself short.

RegalT87686 karma

You were indeed padawan.

TheRedSon1565 karma

So you are basically a taxi driver that hangs around bars?

RegalT87795 karma

No sir, We are Licensed Chauffeurs. a team of drivers will be dispatched to your location and drive you home in your own car. We do no let people in our vehicles.

skweeky306 karma

I assume your company has a couple people who drive the dd's to jobs?

RegalT87467 karma

you would be correct (we call them "Runs")

dietdoctorkelp735 karma

Man, I'd hate to have a job where I got the runs all the time

RegalT87655 karma

I knew I should not have used that term here. I asked for it.

mfoster106220 karma

Ahh, that's usually what I call "Two Dollar Taco Night" at the local Mexican restaurant.

RegalT87121 karma


Abstker145 karma

So they're Designated Designated Driver Drivers?

RegalT8757 karma

that sounds weird when you put it like that.

YoYoDingDongYo476 karma

Where I live there's a similar service, but they ride little foldable scooters that they put in the customer's car. That way you don't need a chase car.

Have you thought about doing it like that so you don't have to split the income across two people?

RegalT87431 karma

We have, but the distances we cover and the time it would take to get from A to B would be too great. plus putting a scooter in a clients vette or Porsche really doesn't sound appealing.

Cinemaphreak188 karma

plus putting a scooter in a clients vette or Porsche

It would fit. These things fold down to the size of a large gym bag. The only issue I would see in some places - they would be a bitch to ride in snow/ice conditions

RegalT87181 karma

oh yeah

idontwearsweatpants81 karma

people have porsches in Detroit?

RegalT87170 karma

yeah, plenty. Oakland county is one of the richest county's in the US.

relytv243 karma

And winter

RegalT8740 karma

that too.

man_mayo332 karma

Are the people usually totally bombed, or just smart enough to know that they'd likely be over the limit if they got pulled over?

RegalT87439 karma

Bingo, on the second. People make a choice to use our service. most of them set it up ahead of time and have everything to lose if they get a DUI/

datgrim284 karma

Whats the nicest car you've driven while working

RegalT87558 karma

I honestly get to drive a lot of nice cars. My very favorite just from a driving experience has to be The Audi A8. I also have clients that have Porsche Panamera's, Bently's, Astom Martins, Maserati's

DHGxZEUSx289 karma

A lot of men now envy you good sir, I am one of those men.


RegalT87421 karma

Got another client who has an A7 and he insists I mash on it at a light. Love that guy.

DHGxZEUSx249 karma

You get to drive nice cars AND mess around in them?

Where do I sign up?

RegalT87216 karma

upon occasion, I definitely dont make it a habit, Safety First! (Im pretty good at driving cars that move fast)

DHGxZEUSx119 karma

Of course safety is important, but if I find a stretch of road in my 95 Camaro I'm gonna floor it.

RegalT87275 karma

Careful, you cant replace that beauty.

DanielSan_BJJ262 karma

You mentioned that you saw a lot of crazy things, including fights, naked woman, drug deals, sex, etc... Did that happen while you were driving the car? Tell us a little more about those odd situations!

RegalT87623 karma

People frequently get busy in the back of the car... alcohol makes things interesting. I've been in the middle of drug deals that i had no clue were happening till they were over (hey can we stop at "XYZ" I need to stop and see a friend really quick to drop something off.) fights that have happened between friends in the car while driving because someone is being stupid drunk. Guys taking strippers home from the clubs. Girls just taking their clothes off for no reason for each other and for me. I've been invited inside on more than one occasion, but i am a married man... im sure some of the single guys have fun with the job. I've carried women into their homes and put them on the couch, Ive left guys in their car in the driveway cause they dont want to go inside and deal with their wives... Ive seen a lot.

confusedbossman223 karma

PROPTIP: Get AA, pop off your distributor cap, free tow with 25 miles. I ususally give the dude a $50 and only do this in dire curcimstances.

RegalT87129 karma

This does work :)

chiliedogg208 karma

My university had a free DD service where the local rental car companies would allow the organization to use their cars in the evening to take drunk people home. It eventually shut down because the police would follow them from the rental agency,let the drunksget in, then pull them over a block later and give them Public Intoxication citations(for the walk to the car), and arrest the drivers if the drunks were undrage.

RegalT87303 karma

Thats bullshit. I have never gotten any crap from any cops around here. all of them are supportive and some of them even use us.

ohstille159 karma

I actually worked for one of your rival companies a while back, Your Designated Driver out of Royal Oak. I had completely forgotten about that job (only lasted a few weeks, got sick of staying up all night for $40 and still having to fill up my personal car's gas tank).

No questions, but thanks for sending me down memory lane, saw some wild stuff during those few weeks.

RegalT87243 karma

Ahhh you worked for Johnathan. Last I heard he skipped town with some peoples money. Not a very good business model he had.

ohstille184 karma

He was a strange dude. From what I remember he used his own service most nights.

The fact that he skipped town doesn't surprise me. I seemed to always get his "friends" as clients who never paid or tipped, and Jonathan would never follow through on reimbursing me.

RegalT87181 karma


paws3588157 karma

Does using your service work out cheaper of more expensive than taking a taxi to the party and a taxi back?

RegalT87335 karma

It will 9 times out of ten be cheaper than going both ways in a cab, but what you have to understand is that cabs in the Detroit area are unreliable to the point where sometimes they never show up. we work on a schedule that our clients pick. we are always on time and the benefit of having your car in your drive way in the morning sells the service alone.. again this is Detroit, People love to drive there cars. Plus everything is so spread out here it is not uncommon for people to drive 30-40 minute to got to an event or the bar.

ddiggity146 karma

Cabs not showing or being late up is pretty common. Drives me crazy. I've almost been late to a few flights because if this.

RegalT87120 karma

Its the worst.

Mad_Hatter_Bot3 karma

I'm curious if Nashville has anything like this. Went to a show for NYE and my hotel was only 12 min away, bad time to find out all most of the cabbies are racist and won't pick up a white guy by himself.

RegalT876 karma

wont pick up a white guy?

paper_or_plastic_130 karma

Paper or plastic?

RegalT87132 karma

Paper for sure...

suparuss117 karma

Any unusual 'tips' from customers?

RegalT87342 karma

I got a huge can of peanuts last week, lol odd.

LurkertoThrowaway136 karma

I would say thats nuts...

cyanydeandhappiness111 karma

If I come over to a hockey game, will you drive me back to windsor?

RegalT87142 karma

Some of our drivers have their enhanced licenses and are able to do that. I'm sure something could be arranged.

ImAghostGoon110 karma

What happens after you drive them home?

RegalT87196 karma

We have a chase car that follows me and they pick me up and we go to our next pick up.. we work in two man teams.

Makorot103 karma

You were almost killey twice on road? Any details?

RegalT87224 karma

I was once hit by a Drunk driver on the way to pick some one up. she fled the scene and was picked up a few miles down the road. the other I was a split second from being hit head on by a car driving the wrong way on the freeway (just like you see in the freakin movies). it took me a few seconds to process what had happened, it just didn't make sense see a car coming right at you on a divided highway

_HAL_9000_172 karma

The first story is ironic.

RegalT87183 karma

just a little, but considering the times that we operate and the locations we service... it was only a matter of time.

thelastdeskontheleft51 karma

Did you still make it to the pickup on time?

RegalT8782 karma

It was the last Run of the night and another driver was free

CelestialFury26 karma

I've been almost hit by an oncoming driver on the interstate as well. I had about a second to react cause I didn't know what was going on at first. The driver made a van, semi, and truck(me) get out of the way. So much adrenaline...

RegalT8739 karma

Its like it doesnt register correctly in your brain for a second.

ItsColdOnMars79 karma

Hey! Thanks for the AMA, just have a couple questions: 1. Have you drove any famous/important people? 2. What is the typical economic situation of the people that you drive? I wouldn't imagine you just drive every ordinary Joe home.

RegalT87147 karma

I have driven many local Celebrities home (sports, radio, tv). we keep that stuff pretty confidential (part of the service).

The demographic varies from the very affluent executives to the average sales person who cant risk getting a DUI. It really covers everyone. but most of them are 30 and up.

eat_my_borstch11 karma

Any chance you've driven one of the Red Wings players at some point?

RegalT8721 karma

I'd say there is a really good chance of that :)

Nifubias76 karma

  • How did you get into designated driving?
  • What advice would you give to the people starting out?

RegalT87120 karma

it just started as a way to make some money for Christmas one year and then i was going to quit... I loved it so much I never did and its been a great 7yrs. I've made great friends, business connections and flat out just met a lot of cool people.

Advice... hmmm... be reliable and focus on your clients needs. also depending on your state get good insurance and be properly licensed. other than that have fun, know the right things to say to clients and when to say them. Being able to read a room goes a long way.

Nifubias65 karma

I'll need to work on my social skills since i don't have any

RegalT8776 karma

I'm not normally a very social person, but I'm in my element when I do this job.

perrla72 karma

Is there a lot of vomit in your job?

RegalT87184 karma

Sometimes, thank god its in there own car and i don't have to deal with it..... but the smell, lets just say i can tell what they drank all night

FawkesFire1370 karma

What's your weirdest story?

RegalT87318 karma

I posted a odd one earlier. here's another: I've been driving this same dancer home every Friday for almost the past 6 months and its still the same thing every time. Shes coked out of her mind, still introduces herself to me like we've just met, passes out half way through only to awake and ask where she is. she also looks for her keys when we are close and i keep telling her they are in the ignition. Like freaking Groundhog Day. lol

uebersoldat74 karma

Do you ever feel pity for people like this? Try to help them? Advice etc?

RegalT87286 karma

yes, but everyone has there demons... Im helping her by getting her home in one piece and helping everyone by keeping her off the road. I try not to interfere in peoples lives.

uebersoldat89 karma

Good man. /cheers

RegalT8755 karma

Thank you

Vito112767 karma

how much money do you make a year from this?

RegalT8799 karma

we are a for profit company... It pays well enough. and it is a great supplemental income for those who are looking for a part time job on the weekends. This is a service based industry so tips really help.

hZf58 karma

Do you split your tip with the chase guy?

RegalT87153 karma

Great question. Yes. that is why we pretty much hire husband and wives, brothers, or people who live in the same household... it kind of helps get rid of the bullshit.

LewdConduct-15 karma

He didn't ask whether it was a "for profit company," he asked what you make. Either you're doing a legitimate AMA or you're just marketing your company, which is it?

RegalT878 karma

good point... just figured money was a more personal thing. The company makes between a 150k-200k a year. as of right now

KoalafiedToParty56 karma

What's the worst experience you've had while driving a client? Best?

RegalT87270 karma

Worst... Lets go for sad. Had a guy call his wife and say he was going to be spending the night at the buddies house who was in the car with him, but when we got to that buddies house he said he was just going to have me take him home. I start heading towards his house and he says "were not going to my house, were going to the casino. (3am at this point) as were pulling into the parking garage at the casino hes peeling off the sticker on a new credit card and calling in to activate it. IDK why, but that really made me feel horrible. probably one of the worst rides ever, just on principle.

ParthS53 karma

What is your craziest story as a designated driver?

RegalT87177 karma

Had two guys and a girl get to the car, the one guy handed me the keys and said "be careful its my wifes car" not even five minutes later they got this girl in "Finger Cuffs"

Ihmhi52 karma

What do you think of the the British company that drives to you in a collapsable scooter and drives you home in your own car?

I saw it on Top Gear UK and wondered why the heck we don't have something so cool and so downright sensible here in America.

RegalT87103 karma

There are companies that do that here in the US. We looked into it, but with the weather and the average distances we cover it just would not work for us.

sanswagata49 karma

Do you have any funny stories about really drunk people?

RegalT87137 karma

most are funny. the funny drunks always want to know who's following us and where there car is even though we are in it.

scubasue47 karma

Drunk to the point where they're trying to prove they're not drunk because they're not going to forget where the car is!

RegalT8778 karma

Ohhh. they forget where they park all the time.

Caption_Bots_Dad46 karma

How many times have you had a gun pulled on you?

RegalT87127 karma

Never. we are not a cab service. We secure every run with a credit card and our clientele are most of the time pretty well off. (I do carry a FNS-9)

Caption_Bots_Dad50 karma

Wow, never, Detroit must be getting better than I remember it.

RegalT8769 karma

We service all of greater Detroit. basically most of South Eastern Michigan. Yes Detroit has recovered greatly in the past 6 years... We have Dan Gilbert and others to thank for that.

kz_4 karma

How does the company feel about the FN?

RegalT876 karma

I feel fine about it. I'm the only Driver that has a CPL.

Scuzzboots46 karma

No questions from me, just a thank you. I've lost two best friends due to drinking and driving. Wish there were more people like you in the world.

RegalT879 karma

Thank you for sharing that.

Such_Account44 karma

What's the ratio of automatic/manual transmissions? You can probably deliver a better answer than most. Also, what are you driving yourself?

RegalT8765 karma

98% automatics these days, even the sports cars. most of the Manuals tend to be VW's. for the business we drive a Honda Civic. as for toys... well look at my username and i think you can figure it out. :)

Nishole42 karma

What was the weirdest experience you've had when driving someone home?

RegalT87147 karma

Weirdest... Thats hard... I had a wedding I picked up from and a girl got in the car with this long dress as we took off I heard her scream in pain really loud. I stopped immediately but no one else in the car with her could understand what she started screaming about. She was doubled over in pain and not talking for like two or three minutes. she finally relaxes and catches her breath and she explained that the belt from her dress was gone. Well what had happened is it was so long that it came untied and it got closed in the car door when she got in and got caught under the tire while we drove away and ripped it right off of her. Shes lucky it came untied or she would have gotten really messed up.

RegalT8757 karma

wow, apparently.

crazyparty41 karma

How often do people have you stop for food or smokes and such?

RegalT87104 karma

All the Time. Taco Bell is our #1 request. most people want to stop and get booze too, but never realize you cant buy after 2am

0Fab41 karma

I work roadside assistance in Detroit and have many interesting stories also. Just last night I went to change a tire at the Manoogian mansion. Stay safe out there man!

RegalT8746 karma

Thanks man. tell the Mayor i said Hi.

demalo37 karma

You sir have the perfect story for the sequel to Drive.

RegalT8739 karma

yes, but I dont plan on killing anyone :)

demalo24 karma

Ah, but the story! Or anti-hero can't escape the drive so he's found a little more suitable life style taxiing legitimate and 'law abiding' patrons. Only deals in cash. It's got some potential.

RegalT8731 karma

We can work on it.

LanierDebater34 karma

Whats the Hardest car you've had to drive?

RegalT8787 karma

I have a client that has a Maserati.., its an aromatic, but drives like a stick... it was very odd driving it. drive wouldn't engage with out being at a certain rpm.

mman45434 karma

About what percentage of your clients (that you know of) have had a previous DUI?

RegalT8749 karma

i would guess about 20%

weldcoman29 karma

Want to go have a drink?

RegalT8792 karma

Lol, I do still drink, just not on the days I work. Gin and Tonic please.

cypressious29 karma

Have you ever caused an accident or even scratched a client's car? Who pays for that?

RegalT8742 karma

Hit a Deer Once... it was a non issue. I forget what its called, but it has something to do with "no fault"

punkminkis28 karma

What's the longest distance you've had to drive someone home? Like, Detroit to Ann Arbor? Ever have to go into Windsor?

RegalT8753 karma

Grand Rapids back to Detroit. we've also done a few ann arbor to the East side of town to. We will go where ever our clients need us. Very seldom into Windsor.

KaijuRomance20 karma

I did not know this was a service that existed! That's really cool. Definitely sounds like a unique job. I've never been paid to DD but I've done it for my friends out of the goodness of my heart...always interesting. Do you ever get repeat clients?

RegalT8730 karma

We have a huge repeat client base. many of the people we service have standing appointments on the weekends. (bar owners, dancers, bartenders)

ben3putt18 karma

How many drivers do you have? How much are you guys making a year?

RegalT8721 karma

Number of drivers varies by the season. normally from 5-10 a night. They make enough to keep doing it. (its a good Supplemental income)

jdoughboy17 karma

There is a bar right down the road from my house. They are a big place that caters a lot to the college aged kids, lots of live music and cheap drinks. They have one of the schools old "short" bus. They will take you home with-in a 25 mile radius, for FREE!!!!

RegalT8713 karma

They're doing the right thing, good for them... you cant drink in their bar again if your locked up or dead... Their protecting their customer base. Smart.

danny921315 karma

I seen the response about taking the guy to the casino instead of home. Has there every been a time you have refused to take a client where they wanted to go, and instead taken them straight home? (assuming you know where they live since you have their credit card details)

RegalT8728 karma

in seven years I have only bailed on one client. It was a woman and she was horrible. Insulting, loud, belligerent and just a bad drunk. I stopped at a gas station apologized, took the keys out of the ignition and took them inside to the gas station attendant and told him that she was drunk and should not drive and told her to call someone to come drive her and if she attempted to drive home I would call the police. (it was that bad, I can deal with a lot, but this woman got to me.)

tdubb320 karma

Man, did you at least give the gas station clerk a tip or something? That'd suck having a random belligerent drunk dropped on you in the middle of your shitty minimum wage graveyard job.

RegalT8721 karma

yeah, no... I could have handled that better looking back on it... I just wanted out of that car and away from that woman.

Superfluous42015 karma

How annoying do you find drunk people?

RegalT8736 karma

People always ask me that... I dont find them annoying at all. Probably why i can do this.

201601014 karma

How often do you have people run off without paying and do you chase them if that happens?

RegalT8745 karma

never. we take a credit card before pick ups

guitarnoir4 karma

I saw a company out here (Los Angeles) that does a similar service, but their drivers use a tiny, tiny motorscooter to get to the client/bar, which rides in the storage-space of the clients car during transport, and then the Designated Drive can return to home base on it. Seemed highly unworkable to me, in that dealing with all the crap in the cluttered cargo area of some drunk at 2am must be a nightmare.

RegalT873 karma

I agree. it also feels intrusive to the clients. Not our bag.

Catch_Yo_Fridge2 karma

What is the actual revenue structure of this service? How many employees are there? You mentioned something about getting good insurance, can you elaborate on this? Also whats the farthest you've had to drive for a job?

RegalT874 karma

I have answered most of these already. you can visit our site for the cost information: you can even get a quote there. We use what would be refereed to as a "Rider" or "Blanket". Michigan is a "No Fault" state where every driver is required to carry their own personal insurance. You cant trump that so we carry a above and beyond policy on our drivers and clients.

rinzler832 karma

This is pretty cool. How much money do you make? Do you work another job? What are your hours for the designated driver job?

RegalT874 karma

I do have a full time career along with this business. Hours are on our website and vary depending on the season. company does about 200k to 250k right now.

mman4542 karma

Sorry if it's already been asked but what happens after you drop them and their car off at their house? Do you have a second driver follow in their own car to pick you up for the next job?

RegalT876 karma

We actually stand guard at their front door... its included in the service. J/K yes a driver follows us to get us to the next run. (Safety First)

rwilliams9732 karma

Do you ever get harrassed by the drunks?

RegalT875 karma

very seldom, most people get why im there even when they are drunk slobs.


  1. Wanna come up to Clarkston?

  2. What's your best story?

RegalT873 karma

We going to go see Bob? maybe stop at the Union? a Girl licked my head once. Carried another girl dressed up as the slutty Tin Man into her house with her dad telling me thank you.

LMB981 karma

In live in grosse pointe and I went to the auto show. I wondering if you went and how you liked it?

RegalT873 karma

Strolled through... was very impressed. I really liked seeing the small start-ups that were there

porn_is_bad1 karma

What would I have to do to get a job with a company like this? Is there much demand for workers or are all the positions already packed?

RegalT873 karma

at the moment we are fully staffed with also drivers on call. one would need a great driving record and Chauffeurs license and a partner.

plaquepsorisis1 karma

So, you're a cabbie ?

RegalT871 karma

Not a "Cabbie" not even close.

TuRondhu1 karma

How many drunk chicks have you banged?

RegalT874 karma

0 and it will always be 0

TuRondhu2 karma


RegalT877 karma

Married... Happily.

TuRondhu1 karma

Ohh. Do other single drivers get lucky?

RegalT875 karma

If they do, I don't want to know and they would be smart not to tell me.

guitarstix1 karma

So.. a cab driver? BFD.

RegalT871 karma

Ughh, not even close to a Cab driver. We are not Cabbies.

obesitykills1 karma

So, you're a cab driver that drives other people's cars? Brilliant.

RegalT879 karma

We are not Cab Drivers, we are Chauffeurs. All of our drivers are Professionally dressed and properly licensed.