Nfld. & Labrador

Good Samaritan gets rough ride in Labrador City

A man who was trying to be a Good Samaritan by keeping impaired drivers off the roads in Labrador City is now in trouble with the town.

Designated driver reprimanded by town official

Nick Blake says a town official with Labrador City called him saying he was running an illegal business by offering to be a designated driver for people on Facebook. (CBC)

A man who was trying to be a Good Samaritan by keeping impaired drivers off the roads in Labrador City is in trouble with town officials.

Nick Blake posted on his Facebook page that he was going to be a designated driver for his friends last Saturday night.

He ditched his costume and spent four hours driving his partying friends around town.

Blake said he received around 40 calls for rides.

"I wanted to help people out, to make sure people got home safely," Blake said. "It made me feel like a good person, until I got the phone call."

The call came Wednesday from a town official who said Blake was running an illegal business. He was also warned not to do it again.

"The missus pretty much treated me like a criminal ... said she was going to forward it to my insurance company," he said.

"She said that it was not my right to give people a ride home. I was doing something nice, I didn't see what the problem was."

If passengers are charged for a ride it's classified as a taxi service. They must be commercially insured, pass vehicle inspections and follow town regulations.

But Blake said he didn't ask anyone for money. He said he was just trying to help people get home safe, and that it was their decision to leave him about $200.

"Yeah, I'll admit people did end up giving me money. I told them they didn't have to, keep the money in your pocket," he said.

Blake says the negative reaction from the town didn't make sense to him.

"I can't understand. I can't fathom what I was doing wrong," Blake said.

"I was figuring I was helping people be safer during the weekend. Any drunk driver that I can make sure doesn't drive drunk is a good deed in my books."

MADD Canada said acting as a designated driver, for a friend or a stranger, is completely legal, but the group warned not to charge for rides.

Blake said he plans to start a Facebook group for local designated drivers to help keep impaired drivers off the roads.


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