Even the Scroogiest among us must agree that the holidays are the perfect excuse for a party. Of course, for many of us, kicking up our heels includes indulging in a glass of eggnog or a toast of champagne. Neither of which is harmful, until even the most well-intentioned, yet intoxicated, revelers get behind the wheel.
As a designated driver, you play a vital role in ensuring everyone’s well-being during, but especially after, holiday festivities.
To help you succeed in your mission as DD, we’ve compiled 10 tips so you can still share in the celebration, while keeping everyone safe.
The best defense is a solid offense.
In other words, your success as a designated driver and the safety of your party depends on a solid plan.
Before the festivities kick off, communicate with your friends or family about your role as the designated driver. Make sure they understand and appreciate your commitment to their safety. Planning ahead will also allow you to coordinate logistics, such as routes, pickup times, and any stops you may need to make.
Moreover, a well-articulated and agreed upon plan should silence any cajoling revelers from urging you to “have just one” or cave to other party-goers expectations.
Know your non-alcoholic alternatives
Short version: make friends with the “mocktail.”
One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday spirit without alcohol is by exploring non-alcoholic alternatives and there are plenty of them. You needn’t feel restricted to water.
In fact, many bars and restaurants pride themselves on offering a wide range of creative mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages that can be just as enjoyable as their alcoholic counterparts. Experiment with these drinks to make your evening special.
On that note…
Dig into DD perks
Did you know that some bars and restaurants offer designated driver rewards, such as discounts on non-alcoholic drinks or complimentary appetizers? Treat yourself and take advantage of these perks — you deserve them!
Be sober AND social
Who says you can’t have fun as a designated driver?
Be the life of the party by engaging in the festivities, dancing, or participating in games and conversations. Your enthusiasm and positive energy can set the tone for an amazing night for everyone. Bonus points: you’ll remember far more than your fellow partygoers might and can enjoy the highlight reel through clear eyes the next time you all get together.
Hydrate for all the right reasons
No, this is not akin to hydrating in order to sober up before heading out. As the designated driver, you want to stay hydrated for your own health and energy levels. Staying hydrated is essential, especially if you’re out and about all night. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the evening to feel fresh and stay alert on the road.
It’s the holiday season: embrace your inner guardian angel
Attending holiday parties as a designated driver affords you an unique opportunity to keep an eye on the clock and offer rides to anyone who may have had a bit too much to drink. Encourage your friends or family at other gatherings to call you for a ride instead of driving under the influence. Remember, your role is to ensure that everyone gets home safely.
Never underestimate the benefit of a backup plan
If someone refuses your offer of a safe ride for whatever reason, lean hard into your backup plan. Store the contact information of a local taxi service in your phone or be prepared to splurge for an uber, if need be. You can always settle up after the fact.
Bank brownie points for photo ops
Whenever possible, take the time to snap a few photos — posed or candid — that capture the essence of the holidays and the magic of making time to celebrate with friends and family. After enduring the isolation of a global pandemic, some reverie and good cheer with loved ones is long overdue. Text your snaps to partygoers and delight in the response you receive.
Bottomline: see everyone safely home
At the end of the evening, ensure that everyone gets back home safely. Check that everyone is buckled up, and drive cautiously. Your responsibility as a designated driver doesn’t end until everyone is safely back at their destination.
Recognize the ripple effect of your DD dedication
As a designated driver, you first and foremost ensured the safety of your loved ones during the holiday season. Do recognize, however, that by acting as designated driver, you also supported the safety of others on the road — strangers you don’t know but you can assume all hope to make it home safely this holiday season.
With the holiday season upon us, we raise a glass (non-alcoholic or otherwise) in thanks to designated drivers for making our holidays safer and, therefore, merrier. If your best intentions went awry and you find yourself in need of legal counsel, we invite you to contact us for a free consultation.