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Designated Driver

Top Tips - take measures to help designated drivers

It’s the time of year when groups will be out for work Christmas parties or other festive celebrations meaning you will not only see a rise in business but also potentially a rise in the number of customers who are venturing out with the responsibility of driving themselves, and possibly others, home at the end of the night.

There will always be the temptation for a driver to have ‘just one more’ alcoholic drink, meaning they shouldn’t drive. Here are some tips on measures you can introduce to try and avoid a situation where a customer who has had too much to drink will attempt to drive home:

  • Establish with suppliers any offers you may be able to promote to ‘designated drivers’ during the festive period to make soft drinks a more appealing, cheaper alternative to alcohol – e.g. one large soft drinks supplier runs its own ‘designated driver campaign’ and offers its soft drinks on ‘buy one get one free’ for drivers;
  • If possible, establish when a group enter your premises if there is a ‘designated driver’ and if so advise them of any offers that you have on soft drinks so they are aware they can save money in comparison to normal prices;
  • Make sure that any offers on soft drinks are well advertised within your premises and make it clear that these are for ‘designated drivers’ in particular to take advantage of;

If these measures do not dampen the party spirit of a driver and you believe they have consumed too much alcohol to drive then you should ensure that you have measures in place to offer them an alternative to driving home, which could include:

  • Ensuring that you have telephone numbers of local taxi firms available and offering to call your customer a taxi should they need one;
  • Making sure that you advertise these local firms are available to use and should be used if someone feels they have had too much to drink;
  • Looking into alternatives to them driving or getting a taxi available in your area – e.g. across London it is now possible for a customer to arrange a service whereby someone meets them and then drives their car home.

It is important to remember it is not only an offence for customers to be caught driving whilst over the legal limit or unfit through drink, but also for them to be in charge of a vehicle. The penalties for each include imprisonment, a fine and a driving ban – it may be worth giving them a gentle reminder of this should you think they will drive.

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