By ANDREW MOORE
Reporter with Silicon Hills News
Austin is full of cool places to stop and have a few drinks, especially around 6th street but if you have too many, you might have to leave your car in an expensive parking space overnight or drive home while still intoxicated.
While out on the town, personal trainer Angie Brinkley noticed that far too many people were choosing the second option because they did not want to be without their car. As a result, Brinkley founded Sober Monkeys.
Sober Monkeys is a designated driving service in Austin that will drive a customer home in the customer’s own vehicle. Each Sober Monkeys team has a driver for the customer’s car and a follower that picks the driver up after they reach their destination. To date, Sober Monkeys has given more than 100 rides in 10 months.
Customers can sign up for Sober Monkeys on their website or by calling 512-808-9232. Pickups can be either scheduled in advance or requested at a moment’s notice. When the driver arrives, a customer must sign an insurance waiver before handing over the keys. Hiring a sober monkey costs $30 for the first five miles and $10 more for each additional five miles. Stopping for gas or other reasons will result in additional charges.
Sober Monkeys is currently running a $15,000 crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo to develop a native app for both iOS and Android. When completed, the app will make it easier for customers to schedule pickups and be found by drivers – even if they are intoxicated at 2 a.m. The remainder of the funds will be spent on car logos to make drivers more easily identified.
Sober Monkeys currently contracts five drivers and is looking to hire additional drivers for the Austin area.
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