Niall Mulrine

Technology: The new designated driver on your smartphone


YOU’RE out on the tear on a Saturday night and you had to drive to the pub at the start of the night, but what do you do with your car now when you had a few in you?

Founding members Craig Sher, Ken Schwartz, Andrew Bares and Harjinder Sidhu of business Stearclear have come up with an idea to take away the pain of having to leave your car behind you at the bar, when you have had too much to drink. And no, it’s not having a cup of coffee before getting behind the wheel after 8 pints of the best brew. Get someone else to drive the car for you!! It makes simple sense to us now, but has the designated driver got a licence, insurance or the ability to drive the car?

There has been many an evening when people had great intentions on taking the car to the pub and having the car collected the next day when sober. But after a few drinks, they start to think how much a nuisance it will be to get someone to taxi them to retrieve their car. So what better idea is it than to take the car home as they think they are fit to drive as they feel they maybe sober even after 4 pints and 4 vodkas! Lots of people have woken up to look out their bedroom window in fear that their car is outside, which meant they drove drunk and then they check if there is damage to car as they may of taken a hedge or two home.


In Ireland alone, motorists have reduced in driving under the influence, since the introduction in October 2011 of new drink limit of 20 mg. Gardai statistics state that 1 in 3 fatal collisions are drink related. This is a high statistic that is too close to lots of drink driving collision victims’ families in Ireland.

In the United States, Stearclear are trying to help the drinker get home safely while taking their car home on the same night. This company was formed in November 2011 with a $1.1 million investment kick start which came mostly from the founders and some angel investors. As the beta stages are being tested in the states, more and more people are talking of the great service this provides to the public. Unlike many new ventures, this business allows sub-contractors to become franchises of the main company and make an earnings of 80% of total turnover provided by head office. The franchise are setup to send the closest drivers to the closest bars and home addresses of the drinkers. 2 drivers are dispatched by the franchise to the bar where the drinker is located. One driver takes the drinker and their car to the chosen location, whilst the second driver follows the car to collect the hired driver back to base.

All this pain is taken away with the use of GPS and smartphone Apps. The driver logs the call via an App on their phone which locates the bar where they are situated and enter destination of home or other location. The franchise then deploys the drivers from the depot and records that data and update the app whilst the driver gets the customer home and then gives full price on arrival. The customer already give their prepaid fee with credit card before any car journey took place, therefore there is no arguing about price of far or looking for money.
This is a great initiative and good luck to the company getting this started. So far 50% of their customers return, whilst 25% of the customers refer on to their friends. For the future drinker, would you use this service if available in your local area?

Contact Niall Mulrine
If you would like a workshop for a parents association, workplace conference, sports centre talk and many other venues, please contact me on 086-2377033. For more information & tips on Cyber Bullying & Internet Safety log on to or contact Niall Mulrine 086-2377033 if you wish to hear how you can haven Internet Safety workshop in your area.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

YES, the school holidays are coming, the weather is getting brighter and the days of getting up early for...

TIGHTLY clung inside my sweaty palm is the feeling of loneliness from a universe I have found myself immersed...


Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland