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Tips on being the best designated driver

friends with their designated driver

So you’ve been assigned the greatest task of the century…driving your mates home after a night of intoxicated revelling! Being the designated driver is an admirable undertaking and one not to be taken lightly. From being constantly offered tequila shots to getting everyone to stop dancing on the tables and out of the club ready to drive home, your job may be fraught with challenges.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top tips on how to be the best designated driver so you’ll be fully prepared for whatever life throws at you on the night! But first…

What is a designated driver?

You know, just in case you willingly offered your help without fully understanding what the task entailed. Otherwise known as the “Des”, the designated driver is the person responsible for abstaining from alcohol on a night out in order to drive everyone home safely.

You’ve probably been designated because you have a valid driver’s license, an insured car and because you’re responsible and reliable…right?

How can I be a good DD?

For whatever reason, you’re now the Des. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a good time. Some bars and restaurants even provide alcohol-free drinks and perks to designated drivers! Anyway, by following the subsequent tips, we just know that you’ll be the best Des there ever was:

1. Bring on those non-alcoholic cocktails!

One alcoholic drink can lead to another and the rest is history. That means, if you’re the designated driver, you can’t drink alcohol. Zero booze. Zilch. Nada. That’s where non-alcoholic cocktails come in. No, not sugary mocktails, we mean refreshingly sophisticated and complex cocktails that just happen to contain 0% booze.

friends drinking with their designated driver

The great news is that decent alcohol-free drinks actually exist nowadays and they’re becoming much easier to find and even make for yourself! If you’re starting off at someone’s house for pre-drinks, for example, you could try concocting your own alcohol-free cocktails. Alternatively, lots of bars and clubs now offer NoLo beer or ask your friends if they’d mind partying at one of these London bars that serve alcohol-free!

2. Lay some ground rules

We know, you were designated to drive, not to be boring and tiresome! But by assertively communicating some basic details about how you wish your friends to behave and respect you as the Des, you could avoid some challenging situations before it’s too late. For example, you could agree on a departure time and get your mates to pinky promise they won’t try to pour vodka down your throat when you’re least expecting it.

designated driver driving his friend

Not sure you can reason with your friends once they’re drunk? Learn how to be assertive and lay down the ground rules before you go on your night out. Hopefully, your mates won’t be too wasted to remember what they promised!

3. Remember the 6 Ps

Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.

Stock your car up with bottles of water, blankets, cleaning supplies and a travel sick bag, you never know, and you certainly don’t want to be bleaching purple vomit out of your car seat the next day! It may sound a bit overkill but your friends (and your car) will thank you for it later and you really will be the best designated driver ever.

designated driver keeping entertained

4. Organise lots of fun things to keep yourself busy

There are so many exciting alternatives to the average bar and club these days; why not arrange to go to a virtual reality games centre, shuffleboard club, crazy golf, escape room, or ping pong bar instead? Check out London’s top activity bars for inspiration on places to go. Keeping yourself busy will curtail temptation.

Don’t live in the big city? There are fun activities to be had wherever you go, from playing snooker to throwing some darts at the local pub or busting out your best moves on the dancefloor!

designated driver dancing

5. Enjoy yourself and make the most of being the sober one

Being the designated driver often means you have the most fun, and you’ll remember your night too! Take advantage of any free drinks and/or perks offered to designated drivers (like this GreeneKing Christmas initiative), laugh at your bestie’s outrageously flirtatious behaviour while ordering drinks at the bar, capture all of the wonderfully embarrassing moments on your phone and accept any offers to buy you food at the end of the night…because you can’t beat chips and curry sauce!

And remember, never drink and drive folks.

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