Coca-Cola designated driver scheme

drink and drive

Many people will have a group of friends or family where they take it in turns to be the designated driver for a night out at a pub or restaurant to avoid the drink and drive problem. One of the biggest frustrations for the designated driver is how expensive soft drinks can be – often it is as pricey to purchase a soft drink as it is to buy an alcoholic beverage. That hardly seems fair.

drink and drive schemeSoft drinks giant Coca-Cola recognised this frustration and was keen to do its bit to support designated drivers by “offering a free second soft drink on Coca-Cola (including classic Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero), Schweppes or Appletiser”. This was rolled out over Christmas as part of Coca-Cola’s annual road safety campaign. The scheme was a partnership initiative with drink driving safety organisation, THINK! Drivers simply needed to present their car keys at the bar to qualify for the BOGOF on named soft drinks.

Not the acceptable norm

Coca-Cola and THINK! hoped that the campaign would help raise awareness and acceptability of being the designated driver. They hoped it would further reinforce the belief that it is not acceptable to drink and drive, nor is it worth the risk of being banned which is the most likely result of a successful conviction.

According to the UK Government, “the number of people killed in drink-drive accidents has been reduced by over three-quarters since 1979 thanks to more than 30 years of government education campaigns and measures to improve enforcement.” Statistics such as this suggest that attitudes are indeed changing and initiatives like the Coca-Cola scheme are making positive steps to help reduce alcohol-related driving accidents.

As well as being a massive help to colleagues, friends and family, if you’ve agreed to be the designated driver then promotions such as this should certainly help ease the burden on your wallet.

Perhaps pubs and restaurants could take this one step further by offering chilled water to designed drivers to help them stay hydrated throughout the evening when they have had enough soft drinks.