Choosing a Designated Driver: Dos and Don'ts

Choosing a designated driver is one of the smartest decisions you can make before a night on the town. Not only do you avoid an accident and injury to yourself or others, you avoid the high cost and legal disasters that result from a DUI (Driving Under the Influence. This may refer to a person who is driving while intoxicated from prohibited drugs or excess alcohol).

Designated Driver and Driving (Photo credit: Mike"Dakinewavamon" Kline)

How do you decide who gets to be the assigned driver? There are several ways where you can select the right person for the job, as well as, several things you shouldn’t do when selecting a designated driver.

What to Do

Ask Questions
Make sure that everyone in your group has a valid driver’s license, insurance, and a decent driving record. You will not want a novice driver navigating the roads with three or more obnoxious drunks distracting him or her. If your driver has a suspended license or no insurance, your group could be stuck in the cold after a traffic stop.

Set Rules
Make sure all members of your regular group understand what it means to be the designated driver. Drivers must stay 100 percent sober and be able to handle peer pressure from intoxicated friends.

Set up a Rotation
This is perfect for those who go out with the same group of friends each weekend. Meet over lunch one day and set up a rotation among the group. This ensures that everyone shares the responsibility equally and there won’t be a question about which person’s turn it is.

Share Expenses
Everyone should chip in a little for gas money since the driver is toting everyone home. A set amount from each person, say five dollars, should cover any gas used during transport. For an added bonus, consider buying your driver’s sodas or virgin cocktails when he or she is the designated driver.

What NOT to Do

Allow Just Anyone to Drive
You will not willingly place your life in the hands of a stranger, so why would you let someone you do not know be your designated driver? Make sure the person driving is someone you’ve known for a while, and who you trust.

Select the Driver at the Party
Sometimes the assigned driver is not the person who drank the least. He or she must be 100 percent sober, but alarmingly, partying adults choose a designated driver after drinking 20 percent of the time. Make sure you are safe by riding with a sober driver.

A fun night on the town should not end tragically because of a Total DUI. Making plans and choosing the right assigned driver ensures a fun night stays just that—a fun night.

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