Designated drivers save lives

"Why doesn't this site do more to promote the use of a designated driver?"

  • Dec. 8, 2011 5:00 p.m.

“Why doesn’t this site do more to promote the use of a designated driver?”

This single sentence was all that was sent to me in an e-mail from a visitor to my DriveSmartBC website. With the Christmas season upon us, it’s probably a great time to revisit the subject.

A designated driver is a driver who abstains totally from the consumption of alcohol at a social event so that they may drive their friends home safely afterward.

They are not the person in the group that has had the least amount of alcohol to drink. Know who is going to be your designated driver before you leave for an evening of fun and adventure.

Plan how everyone is going to get to and from the event before anyone leaves for it.

This way only one vehicle makes the trip and there is no dilemma about what to do with with “extra” vehicles at the end of the night. In other words, remove the temptation for someone who just has to have their vehicle back home afterward.

What happens if you don’t plan ahead or the designated driver becomes the designated drunk?

Take advantage of Operation Red Nose or similar programs if they operate in your community. Phone a sober friend or family, call a taxi, take transit or even consider walking home.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.