With only a week to go until Christmas, holiday parties are taking place all over. A designated driver is crucial for everyone to have a safe holiday now more than any other time of the year. Designated drivers are an integral part of keeping roads safe, and by educating friends and family we can work together to lower the number of accidents and even deaths. Whether they’re volunteers or paid, the designated driver of any given group has a great responsibility.

An alarming trend among many young people is choosing the “least drunk” of the group to get behind the wheel after a night of drinking, instead of a completely sober driver. That is why it is very important to designate a driver before any drinking takes place. In 2011 there were 194 DUI fatalities in Arizona alone. These fatalities can be prevented by choosing a designated driver before attending parities.

When selecting a designated driver consider the following:

  • Avoid appointing someone who is rarely sober to be your designated driver. Don’t be naive – choose someone who you know can handle the responsibility of getting you and your friends home safely.
  • Take turns being the designated driver on different occasions, so it is not always the same person who is responsible.
  • Make sure the designated driver collects everyone’s keys before any drinking begins. This will avoid any confrontation under uncomfortable circumstances. The designated driver’s possession of the keys helps ensure that he or she is the only one equipped to drive.
  • At the end of the night or the next day, make sure that you thank your designated driver. It’s a small gesture that only takes a minute.

We want everyone to have a safe holiday so please have a designated driver. If you are unable to secure a designated driver, remember that there are always ways to get home safe without getting behind the wheel.