A night out without a beer or wine in hand can be looked at somewhat apprehensively. The words ‘designated driver’ are hardly synonymous with having fun and while your friends will look at you as a modern day hero, the idea of chauffeuring inebriated individuals can fill a person with dread.
But is being a designated driver really that bad? Here we look at what’s good about being DD and six ways to ensure you still have fun.
Benefits of being a designated driver (DD)
Making a ‘social sacrifice’ for your friends and family can come with a whole host of benefits – the most obvious one being safety. Did you know that drink driving is the number one contributing factor in approximately 30% of fatal crashes in Australia?
When you commit to being a designated driver you commit to getting your friends and family home safe. Drink driving remains a major contributor to road incidences (even though an illegal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit has been in place for more than 25 years) and by you saying yes to DD you are putting the safety of your loved ones first. Well done you.
On top of safety, being DD can:
Make you everyone’s favourite person
Who can do anything but praise the selfless friend who ensures they get home safely and cheaply from a night out? Everyone loves a DD and being a DD will mean a night of compliments, hugs and maybe even free drinks!
Save you money
Even if your friends don’t shout you drinks all night, you’re bound to save some money by choosing to stay off the grog. Let’s face it, drinking alcohol doesn’t come cheap. In Sydney and Melbourne the average cost of a beer is between $8 and $9 while a cocktail might set you back $18. In Coolangatta, prices are a bit more affordable (thanks to the speedy growth and success of the Gold Coast’s craft breweries and microbreweries) but still, sticking to the soft drink or soda water definitely lends to more dollars in your pocket.
Mean no hangover
No alcohol means no hangover and no hangover means you’re free to enjoy that early morning run or surf or leisurely breakfast at any one of Coolangatta’s great cafes. Being DD means you can tick off a number of things before your friends can even function enough to pull themselves out of bed.
Make you feel really smart
While your friends are slurring and making fools of themselves you’ll feel like the smartest, most responsible friend (for once). Being able to speak coherently will make you feel great about yourself.
Put you in good stead for a favour
If you’re doing a massive favour for your friends it’s only fair that they return it some time. Your one time of being DD can mean four more times when your friends drive you to and from the Coolangatta Hotel.
There’s a silly notion that you can’t have fun without alcohol but watching a bunch of friends get more and more intoxicated can be highly amusing at times. It can be even more entertaining when you replay the stories back to your friends the next day. As DD you’ll remember all the shenanigans that go down and you may even score some blackmail material!
Mean you go home when you want to
With the awesome bands we have at the Coolangatta Hotel it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever get bored. But let’s say you’ve had a massive day and the yawns are starting to kick in – you’re in charge and you can leave whenever you want.
Six ways to have fun as a designated driver
Instead of assuming that your night will be a downer as DD, follow these tips and be guaranteed a great time.
1. Choose a location you like
If you love the location it won’t matter that you don’t have a drink in hand. The Coolangatta Hotel is where friends come together and the surf breaks in the background. It’s one of Australia’s best live venues and there’s something for everyone – whether you love local and international acts, up and coming DJs, good food or live games on big screen TVs.
2. Enjoy delicious drinks
If the thought of drinking tap or soda water is making you want to ‘call in sick’ on your night out, make a promise to yourself to enjoy delicious drinks that excite. Try virgin versions of the drinks you love, sample different smoothies, or warm yourself with tea and hot chocolates.
3. Team up with other Designated Drivers
Knowing you’re not alone can be comforting and having a companion to watch the crazy things your friends do can make it all the more funny. Look for friends who don’t drink or other DDs in the same situation and be a source of mutual support for one another.
4. Give yourself a cool name
What’s in a name? Everything. A cool title is like wearing a badge of honour, so get creative. If you can’t think of any, try one of these on for size:
- Director of the Drunken
- Trustee the Tipsy
- Buddy of the Boozed
- Preserver of the Pickled
- Lifeline of the Loaded
- Guardian of the Glazed
- Conductor of the Clobbered
- Shepherd of the Sauced
- Helper of the Hammered
- Transporter of the Trashed
5. Avoid lengthy destinations
The night you’re designated driver shouldn’t be the night you and your friends head to Brisbane to hit the casino. Keep it local and DD-friendly. The last thing you want is an hour drive home with four friends who all believe they’re karaoke kings.
6. Know when to call it
We all have a friend who doesn’t do too well on alcohol. Signing up to be DD might not make you a babysitter, but it does carry a sense of responsibility to keep an eye on alcohol consumption and friend behaviour. If you think your friends have had enough or you recognise a sign that things could turn sour, know when to call it. Your friends will thank you for it and the ride home will be a lot more enjoyable and safe.
Being a designated driver will only be a downer if you let it be a downer. Look at the positives and go somewhere you love. At the Cooly Hotel, we’ll look after you, making sure you can stay responsible while still having fun. We believe that with awesome bands, great food, big TVs and a cracking view, alcohol is just the icing on the cake. Would you really turn down cake just because it didn’t have icing?