How to Treat Your Designated Driver

a designated driver is a true heroWe pause to honor designated drivers. It’s would be hard counting the number of lives that have been saved by this army of heroes, because it’s not one force but a constantly changing roster of volunteers who, with no thought of reward, are ensuring that their patch of road is free of drunk drivers.

Did we say no reward? Perhaps you can rectify that. If one of your friends has volunteered to be a designated driver so your tribe can enjoy an evening of drinking, here’s how you should hold up your end of the deal:

  • Give her your keys. Make it a ritual: put yourself in her hands and relax for the evening. Whatever happens, you’ll be home safe.
  • Buy him dinner. It’s considered the proper way to say, “Thank you for your service.”
  • Buy her non-alcoholic drinks. It’s not that expensive, and you’ll allow her to enjoy the social aspect of drinking without the booze.
  • Take his advice. You’re out to drink and have a good time, but if he suggests you’ve had enough, remember: you keep him around to exercise the good judgment that you don’t have now. Judgment comes in handy in various circumstances, not just while driving. You’ll thank him tomorrow.
  • Respect her. Don’t tease her for not being able to drink. And above all, do not ply her with “just one” drink.” She’s a hero, and is responsible for your safety for the evening.
  • Talk to him.  While your guard is down, you’re sure to spill some interesting secrets. That will make it worth his while.

In most states, drunk driving continue to decrease. Deaths and injuries are nowhere near what they once were, and we have a number of social changes to thank for this. In addition to ignition interlock laws and mandatory alcohol treatment programs for DUI offenders, a boost in public awareness has been vital to the downturn in collisions. Where once most people took the chance to drink and drive, many now turn to that hero of the modern age, the designated driver.

And for that, we salute you.