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Local business takes innovative approach to cut down on drunk driving

Big Lick Boomerang drivers take people home in their own cars

ROANOKE, Va. – A new business is working to cut down on drunk driving in the Roanoke Valley with an innovative approach.

"When you ask people what was the difference of you risking that drinking and driving, it comes down to needing their car the next day," Big Lick Boomerang owner Diane Rumbolt said.

That's why Big Lick Boomerang drivers take you home in your car.

"It gives you the convenience to be out on your own time but you also get the privilege of having your vehicle home so it's there in the morning when you need it, without the risk of a DUI, a ticket, a tow, a break-in, all the things that people are concerned about leaving their vehicles downtown," Rumbolt said.

Like Uber and Lyft, all drivers are cleared through background checks.

"I think it helps. It keeps people off the streets, keeps everybody safe," Awful Arthur's bartender Caitlin Garrett said.

The transportation service is partnering with downtown bars like Awful Arthur's, Fork in the Market, Cornerstone, Jack Brown’s and Wall Street.

"A lot of people are from out of town or they're students and their parents aren't around or can't get a friend to come over so we do have a lot of people that use it so I think it's a good thing," Garrett said.

The service is about more than just cutting down on drunk driving, though. They've transported customers to the airport, to pick up a new car, for safety reasons or really any situation where you don't want to leave your car somewhere.

"I know I’m a mom of three and the last thing I want to do is bring my kids for a state inspection or shop all day. So if we can help ease just the pressures of time in life in general, that's really what we're here for," Rumbolt said.

It’s a unique way to make life easier while keeping the streets safer.

"All the times that you could just use that little bit of help and there's not really anyone to call, so now there is," Rumbolt said.

They started in November with two calls, and now they're up to about 30 calls a month.

Big Lick Boomerang is working on an app, but for now, all you have to do is go to their website to register, then give them a call when you need them.


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