Man arrested for volunteering to drive drunk people home

Courtesy Rides bus (Source: Quincy Herald-Whig)

In Quincy, Illinois, police showed their commitment to public safety by arresting a man they caught committing the heinous crime of driving drunk people home free of charge.

QuincyNews.org reports:

The operator of the Courtesy Rides service which picks up people who choose not to drink and drive has been arrested again for violating the city ordinance which was created to stop him.

Jonathon Schoenakase, 1711 Melview Road, was arrested at 1:30 Saturday morning after he picked up a plain clothes Quincy Police officer from the Phoenix night club. The arrest was made after Schoenakase drove to the 48th and Harrison area and he was released on a notice to appear.

Lt. Jason Simmons says the sting was conducted following complaints about Schoenakase’s continuing operations from “other licensed operators”. Simmons declined to identify the business owner that made the complaint.

Schoenakase is already facing charges of violating the taxi ordinance from a previous sting in February. He has an appearance with counsel set for August 16 and a jury trail scheduled to begin in October.

Schoenakase began his operation on Jan. 31, 2008, saying he was inspired by the loss of a friend who died in a crash involving a drunk driver. He added a second car in the Spring of 2009 and began to draw the interest of the operators of Diamond Cab, who complained to city officials that Schoenakase was running a de facto taxi service.

In September 2009, the Quincy City Council altered the definition of its taxi and limousine ordiinance to include the words “for hire” since Schoenakase was attempting to use a loophole by saying he didn’t charge for his service and only operated on donations.

In June, Schoenkase and two other businessmen sought to obtain a license from the city and Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley was on the verge of recommending approval, but said Schoenakase needed to clear up some outstanding legal issues. The three men withdrew their request following a meeting with Copley.

According to the article, police conducted the sting after receiving complaints from “other licensed operators” which probably means that a representative from some taxi company that’s buddy-buddy with the local government whined to the police after finding out that Mr. Schoenakase was offering the same service for less money.


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