What have designated drivers done for you? What have you done for them? Why do we need them and how do we get them to do it? Share your thoughts in the conversations below.
A designated driver, or DD, is your buddy, or mate, who cares enough to stay sober while you are drinking, and provide safe transportation home. On any night out on the town you should consider how you're going to make it home in your inebriated state1. If your town of choice happens to have poor public transport - or none at all - you may need to enlist a designated driver.
What a DD Can Do For You
Besides providing you with safe transportation and keeping you out of jail, or death's hands, a DD can be a great source of information about any acts of stupidity you may have committed while drunk. This can be good or bad because who knows how long it will take you to live down that night you started dancing and singing all the words to a New Kids On The Block song? Still, your DD can inform you which friend you need to apologise to for relieving yourself in their garden. A DD can also be a safety guard against 'beer goggles'2. A good friend can make sure you have no reason to scream when you awake. They can keep you out of any fights you may instigate or provide cover if you get into one.
How To Get a DD
Friends are usually the best choice for a DD. They already care about you, are willing to do favours, and know which doorstep to drop you off on if you have passed your limit. Sometimes one individual may be primed for a DD position, if they have to work early the next day, are on medication that they can't mix, or maybe still sick from last night's party. Once you narrow down your choices all your have to do is ask. Offer to buy their drinks3, food, or promise to be DD next time.
What to Do With a DD Once You're Drinking
Taking a DD with you
Once you have secured your designated driver, it's time to go and party. While partying don't forget your DD. He/she may be your friend but they don't want to be bored. Remember to keep them in the conversation - you want to make sure they are having a good time, not only are they your comrade but they are also doing you a favour. Just because you did not need to promise food or drinks to get your DD does not mean you can't buy them those things now to show your appreciation, some bars in the US even offer free non-alcoholic drinks for DDs. Alternatively, you may try to fix them up with a drunk (or sober) attractive person. When they have to explain why they're not drinking it will show how much of a good friend they are.
Having One on Call
Maybe your DD does not want to go out with you. Sometimes nothing is more annoying than a bunch of drunk people when you're not. You can either pre-arrange a pick-up time and location or arrange an approximate time to call for their services. Remember, if you have arranged to be picked up, be where you said you would and on time. Its only courteous.
The Ride Home
While on your ride home there are a few things you may want to keep in mind.
No matter how much fun it may seem to be at the time to watch your friend pull a broad-slide in the middle of the road, don't pull the handbrake!
Return the Favour
Remember using your friends as a DD may require you return the favour one day. Make sure you are ready to do this.
DDs for Hire?
It's called a taxi. It you are caught with no way back then call one. It costs less than wrecking your own car, getting a ticket, or worse.
For more information on drinking and driving issues in the UK, check out The Portman Group.
For more information on drinking and driving issues in the US, check out Freedom 4 you.