How to be a Top Designated Driver This Christmas!

Added: 05 December 2018

We’ve all been there… whether you’ve drawn the short straw or volunteered, being the designated driver on festive nights out can be daunting. At Day’s Motor Group, we know it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but if it’s your responsibility this Christmas, we suggest that you read these tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman...

  1. Make sure your friends are not so tipsy that they are no longer controllable in your car. Having someone behaving badly in a vehicle can be dangerous, and, if a passenger is proving too much of a distraction, you should pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so.
  2. Agree a leaving time with your friends and ask them to cover the parking charges. Technically you may invalidate your insurance if you take any ‘petrol money.’
  3. Remember if you are the nominated driver it’s best to have no alcohol at all, even one drink will affect the way you drive without you being aware of it.
  4. If you’re travelling the last part of the journey alone, make sure you have an arrangement with someone to text them and let them know you are home safe.
  5. Remember - being the nominated driver can have its benefits: some places offer free soft drinks on a buy one get one free basis, so click here to see if any of your local haunts are included.

Richard said: “It’s never been easier to be the designated driver with lots of national and local schemes in place to reward you for being responsible. In a close knit group of friends, if you all take your turn being the designated driver then you’re able to share the fun. Have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and remember that the designated driver doesn’t get a hangover.”

Of course, if you do end up having a night or two off duty, you should also think carefully before getting behind the wheel the morning after. You may feel fine, but after a few drinks, the chances are, you won’t be fit to drive.

As a rough guide it takes the body one hour to rid itself of one unit of alcohol (a strong pint of lager or 250ml glass of wine may contain three units each). And the clock starts from when you finish drinking, not when you start! If you can remember what you had you can always get a rough calculation from this website - but it should only be used as a guide.

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