Utah Man on Crusade to Stop Drunk Driving

Utah Man on Crusade to Stop Drunk Driving

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Richard Piatt reporting A Utah man is on a crusade to stop drunk driving. He offers free rides to people who have been drinking, no questions asked.

Nielson is driven to do the driving for people who stumble out of bars like this one.

And the reason he's so passionate, is just as interesting as the fact he's doing it at all.

In his own truck, Ryan Nielson racks up hundreds of miles a week, overnights.

All to keep drunk drivers off the road.

"The Designated Driver is here..."

He also mingles at Salt Lake City bars and clubs six nights a week, on top of his regular daytime job, to keep a promise he made to God.

Ryan Nielson/Designated Driver 4 U: "In all honesty, it's my whole life. It's my number one priority. It's all I'm focused on."

Nielson cruises the streets----bars and clubs---looking for people to help home.

Last week, he helped one man who was so drunk he didn't remember the ride home. The man's sister doesn't want to be identified.

'Amanda'/Brother Needed Ride: "I believe he saved him. Because he was so drunk. He couldn't remember what happened at all."

On the dashboard of his van, is the reason for Nielson's passion: His son, Matt.

While driving drunk, Matt hit---and nearly killed 22 year old Ana Bussmann last winter. Matt's in jail right now. His father is helping repay a miracle.

Ryan Nielson/Designated Driver 4 U: "We watched Ana come out of a coma, we met the family, the family forgave my son. The promise was that we would do whatever we could to help the cause."

In under a year, Nielson has built a reputation.

But it's expensive. He spends his own money and time.

But support is growing--an article in People magazine; donations. And warm reception at the city's popular watering holes.

'Pokey'/Port O Call Customer:"I think what he's trying to do is a very commendable thing, and I think it's great."

Tomorrow, Nielson plans to go to the Capitol for support---and money. A number of bar owners---like the owner of Shaggy's---plan to go with him.

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