Each year, alcohol related traffic crashes kill and injure thousands of people in this country. Of course all of us want to do our part to help prevent these unnecessary tragedies. There are many ways that we can engage to reduce drunk driving incidents. So, how to make sure that everyone has a good time, and more importantly, that everyone is safe whether celebrating at home or enjoying an evening out?

How about volunteering to be the designated driver? A designated driver is the person who only drinks non-alcoholic beverages and serves as driver for the rest of the group. In other words, the designated driver is that group’s “life insurance” for their safe ride home.

Here’s how important it is to be a designated driver:

  • You demonstrate to your family and friends that you care about them!

  • You prevent senseless injury and loss of life due to drunk driving.

  • You help family and friends avoid the embarrassment and legal/financial consequences of a drunk driving arrest and possible conviction.

  • You set a good example for those around you!

Here are a few simple tips on being a designated driver:

  • Set up a designated driver system with your family and friends. Take turns – that way, it’s easy on everyone!

  • When out for the evening, ask if the establishment endorses a designated driver program. Many bars and restaurants now offer special incentives – such as free non-alcoholic beverages or appetizers – to designated drivers.

  • Never be afraid to say, “No thanks, I’m driving”, when it’s your turn to be the designated driver. You don’t have to drink to have a good time.

Now, if everyone in your group is going to drink then plan ahead! Arrange for an alternate way to get home safe. Call a cab, call a friend, use public transportation or contact a local safe ride service. Holidays are about enjoying time with friends and family. Before you celebrate, designate!