No free bus for drinkers on New Year’s Eve

| 28/12/2009

(CNS):  Owing to a lack of funding the National Drug Council (NDC) will not be providing its free bus service onNew Year’s Eve to help people who are drinking during the celebrations get home safely. Over the past few years the NDC has provided the Purple Ribbon Bus but the Executive Director, Joan West-Dacres, told News 27 that there will not be a service this year. Some bars are however, participating in the designated driver programme and will give free soft drinks to those who are driving groups of friends home. Drinkers who are not part of a group with a designated driver will need to find a taxi to avoid getting netted in the police road blocks.


Go to New 27 video.


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  1. anonymous says:

    Why wouldn’t a private sector group sponsor the NDC shuttle bus?  Bud/Corona/Red Bull/Jagermeister/CayBrew rep’s listening?!?

    • TRUTH says:

      I just read that the UDP has stepped up to fund this bus issue out of their personal pockets and that it is spearheaded by Matthew Leslie from the YUDP.  He is also the distributor for Caybrew if I remember correctly so someone from the beer industry was listening.

  2. aurevoir says:

    In this case, it’s the message that counts; spelling aside, the person made some good points…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why do people think that a government or its agencies are responsible for their inability to control their own drinking? What has happened to personal accountability? or has the "entitlement" scenario that people say the younger generation seems to have a bad case of spilled over to the general public??? Stay sober, save money, save lives!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. This is just plain silly. Stop relying on government and other people doing for you.There is nothing wrong with arranging for a designated driver in your group, and if you want to drink that badly, arrange for a taxi or bus beforehand.

    • anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, a normal Thursday night for a great many, but for some, New Year’s Eve is their booziest night of the year.  There are always a variety of special excuses and peer pressures to enable an over-celebration and impair judgement on this night. 

      Those with some forethought and charity are relied upon to catch anyone that may need help when selfish friends have left them to carry on. 

      It sounds like you aren’t drinking, maybe you should consider the opportunity to be a hero by delivering some people home safely…start 2010 with some good karma!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. It’s time that people be more responsible and plan ahead. If you know you are going to drink, have a designated driver. Otherwise, stay home and off the streets.

  4. Chris says:

    "Some bars are however, participating in the designated driver programme and will give free drinks to those who are driving groups of friends home."

    Does anyone else have a problem with this statement?


    CNS Note…Well spotted… I really should leave that cooking sherry alone…"soft drinks…"


  5. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone else have a problem with this part?…

    "Some bars are however, participating in the designated driver programme and will give free drinks to those who are driving groups of friends home."

  6. End of Cayman says:

    With the fondness for crime amongst the Caymanian people at the moment this is a disaster waiting to happen. Just wait until the morning and the news will be full of reports of theft or worse. This put people’s lives at risk from more than drunk drivers.

    • anonymous says:

      For many, the relative difference between the impacts of "petty crime" and "drunk driving accidents" is death and widespread misery.  With the later it is often more than one death, often killing innocents, often young people involved, and those families and friends connected to the tragedy are never the same.  Whereas with "petty crime" you are back at work the next day. 

      Back to the topic at hand, how much could it possibly cost to sponsor a shuttle bus for one night?  $200?  $300?   

  7. Anonymous says:

    In many tourist resort areas, there is a "Tipsy Taxi" service which assures that visitors and locals alike get home safely at no cost  other than maybe a well earned gratuity for the volunteer driver who makes nothing more than knowing that he/she has benefited the community by allowing a good time for those they are driving and keeping local roads safe from drunk drivers….everyone benefits from their generosity!

    In other locations, people volunteer to drive as designated drivers for parties who call a central number ( available to bartenders and  restaurant staffs!)to request their service….cost is nothing more than perhaps a well earned tip that might be offered by the persons enjoying the evening. Again….a very valuable contribution to our islands!

    In thespirit of assuring that all visitors who visit our islands, spend their $$$$$$ and wish to have a well earned good time ( and gee- it might include drinking alcohol!), don’t you think we could come up system- either volunteer or sponsored ,to all be able to have a good time yet keep our roads……and them safe? Since we depend so heavily on visitors spending their vacation dollars here, shouldn’t we do everything we can to keep them safe while they are having a good time as well as ourselves????? We’re talking about our bread and butter!!!!

    Many local governments pay for this and many others recruit volunteers to provide this service……since taxis here charge an often ridiculous(! ) rate to get you home safely, maybe we could find some alternatives and save someone’s life and others a lot of heartache!!!!  NDC doesn’t have the $$$$$$….what happens when that "no $$$$$$" results in loss of life?

    Just a thought! Where is our sense of community? Can’t we allwork together to make sure that our people and our visitors stay safe????? No One wants a broken heart!

    • Janeycomelately says:

      Why don’t we ask off-duty police officers to act as designated drivers ?

      For sure, they won’t be ticketed for overspeeding  ‘coz they’d stay within speed limit, right? And they should not be caught driving under the influence, too, right?  Nobody had been arrested yet for imbibing too much free ‘soft’ drinks.

      And while cruising,  they might catch some burglars, or better still, thugs in the making in the act, too,  unaware that the car that just passed them by, without sirens and flashing lights to alert them, is driven by a police.

      On second thought,  include the on-duty police officers in this undercover job,  the more police on the streets, the better and they might just be a few distance away if there’s a disturbance, too.


  8. what a mess says:

    How about having 10 police officers provide this imoportant service just for New Years eve. They can utilize the many Govt. owned buses that will be sitting idle. Doing so will no doubt make the roads safer…and at little cost!

  9. Dog Man says:


    A couple senerios for you!!

    How many people are employed for the NDC?,i don’t know but i hope that these NDC employees take the opportunity to be DD(designated,drivers) with there personal cars and show the rest of us they truly care.I don’t think this will happen,unless they get paid to do so.

    Howmuch do these buses cost for five or six hours anyways?Must be an outrageous price,im more than sure that if each and everyone of or MLA’S put in $1,000 dollars,we could have 15 or more buses on the road easily.The average pay for you guys(MLA) is 8K and above.Do you (MLA) realy care about the cayman community?

    • Anonymous says:

      Was this actually written by a dog?  The spelling would be terrific. . . for a dog.

      • Speiledbaad? says:


        • Dog Man says:

          I train dogs hence the name, dog man,for you two i’ll give some free lesson’s, let me know?

        • Learn yourself mutt says:

          I think it is "Wuuuuf" with four "u" when used in that context.  "Wuuuuuf" means something completely different.  Dog Man might be able to explain the nuances better than I can.

      • Dog Man says:

        didn’t realize this was a English class,bud.!! I notice you don’t have anything constructive to say about the topic?

      • au revoir says:

        In this case, it’s the message that counts; spelling aside, the person made some good points…

    • Anonymous says:

      Dog Man – a scenario for you… at your private sector Christmas party you can stay sober and then take your personal car and make multiple trips over a period of a few hours to drive all of your drunk co-workers home. Oh, and you wouldn’t get paid at all, except maybe with some vomit all over your backseat (or lap) from someone who had a little bit too much fun. Sound like something you would do? I didn’t think so.

      How can people honestly expect NDC employees, who (like you and everyone else) have families and significant others and friends that they want to spend New Years with, to take their personal cars and "show the rest of us they truly care"? From this comment I would also assume that you are one of the many who hates on the civil service for what you perceive as relatively high pay and amazing benefits for little work (a common stereotype that is sometimes true, but definitely not always the case) and feels that civil servants owe this country a little bit more.

      If you did a little bit of research you would find out how many people are employed by NDC. I’ll give you a hint, it’s more than 4 and less than 6 Go look at their faces on the website and ask yourself if you still think they should give up their own New Years and whatever celebration they were planning to drive your drunk behind home to "show you that they care."

      • Dog Man says:

        I have to tell you that my wife and I have both taken home not only friends or family who have had too much to drink, but also people who that we don’t even know.  And yes, we used our private vehicles to do this. Some nights we used both of our private vehicles – each of us going in a different direction to take people home before going home ourselves.  We don’t just dump people in a taxi, leave them to fend for themselves and then not know if they actually got inside of their homes safely.  Not only have we done this on holidays, but throughout the year for several years.  Neither of us ever got a dollar for this, and we surely weren’t looking for one.  Just knowing that we were able to help people get home without incident is enough for both of us.  It is obvious that no one person or organization can be responsible for safety on the roads, but we have personally done our best to assist anyone we could whenever possible.  Can the rest of you, who choose to make fun of my spelling instead of addressing the issue or making a constructive suggestion, say the same? Or do you just get in your cars and leave, hoping that you’ll get home before the drunk stranger you saw in the parking lot or the bar can figure out which key starts his car? This is supposed to be a forum to discuss issues or make  suggestions, not to attack other people just because you seem to have nothing better to do and you obviously have nothing constructive to say. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Dog Man, I was constructively addressing your statement that the 5 NDC employees should sacrifice their own New Years and use their personal cars to drive drunk people home, not attacking you. Your defensive tirade has surely proven that you and your wife are saints (no sarcasm there, the vast majority of people wouldn’t pick up drunk strangers and drive them home), but to assume that just because people are NDC employees they should do the same is ludicrous and inconsiderate.

          While it would certainly be great for people to do what you and your wife do regularly, and it would certainly save lives and reduce damage to personal and public property, the issue here (as many other people have stated) is not whether we should all do the same. The bigger issue is personal responsibility and accountability.

          The Government and individual civil servants are in no way responsible for babysitting people who are irresponsible and reckless enough to put people in danger by driving drunk. The Government sets rules for us to follow, and it is our individual responsibility to follow those rules. If we do not, we are individually accountable for that choice. And you shouldn’t assume I am attacking you for suggesting this, I’m stating my fundamental disagreement with your position (which is certainly implied with your assertion that if politicians and NDC employees cared enough they would do it, but since they won’t get paid for it they probably won’t).

          My advice to most people here would be to take a second and really read comments that are posted in reply to one of yours – is it a personal attack? Or is that person simply outlining how and why they disagree with your opinion? Just because people don’t agree with you doesn’t mean their input isn’t constructive. Even if we don’t go out on the weekends to pick up random drunks and make sure they get home safely and also don’t think the Government has a responsibility to do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not the job of the NDC whether in the past or the present.  The NDC should not be indirectly condoning excess alcohol consumption at all by running this service.  The funds would be better spent focussing on the admirable and important central aims of the NDC.