What is Designated Driving?

When you are headed out with a group of friends or family members to dinner or a sporting event and know that you will be drinking, it is a good idea to choose a designated driver. It is estimated that designated drivers have saved 50,000 lives and prevented countless accidents by stepping up and driving sober. Having a designated driver means that everyone will get home safely and no one will risk being arrested with a DUI.

Who Should be the Designated Driver?

The designated driver is someone who commits to not drinking any alcohol for the entire time you are out—not even a glass of wine with dinner or a beer during the second inning of the game. The designated driver is not the “most sober” of your group; he or she is completely sober for the duration of the evening or event. This person should be aware of his or her role before the evening or event begins and will refrain from consuming any alcohol. It is also a good idea to give the designated driver the keys before anyone begins drinking to avoid any potentially awkward moments later in the evening. Having a plan in place for who will be driving and exactly how everyone will get home is the best way to protect yourself and those you care about from driving under the influence.

Be Good to Your DD

The designated driver’s commitment to stay sober while everyone else is drinking means that he or she will not be able to relax and enjoy the evening in the same way as everyone else. It is a good idea to share the responsibility of being the designated driver with your group, having everyone take turns from outing to outing, so one person is not always sidled with the responsibility. As a gesture of thanks to the designated driver, consider treating him or her to dinner or offering to pay for gas.

If you do not have a designated driver with you, remember that there are other ways to get home safely. Call a cab or even a designated driving service. If you have been drinking, do not risk getting behind the wheel. You could hurt yourself or others and risk being arrested and going to jail with DUI.