Designated Drivers and Alternative Transportation
The cars of the future will drive themselves. They will be faster, more efficient, and safer than any car ever driven by any human. You will be able to eat, drink, or even sleep while an automated chauffeur quickly and safely drives you to your next destination. Motor vehicle crashes caused by intoxicated or distracted human drivers will fade into the history books.
That future is decades away.
Until our roads are populated by self-driving cars, you’re going to need to figure out how to get around responsibly any time that you go out for drinks.Fortunately, you have options.
Many cities in the United States of America provide some form of public transportation. Shuttles, buses, light-rail and subway trains are all relatively easy to use and perfectly respectable. If your destination is not on a bus or train line, or if public transportation is not an option for any reason, a taxi cab is usually a reliable option; and, in more and more places around the world, ride sourcing services like Lyft and Uber are providing a 21st century take on traditional taxi services.
All of those transportation methods will cost a fee, but those fees are superficial when compared to the cost of a DUI or a crash. Those fees you pay, in most cases,buy you the advantage of trained professionals handling the dangerous job of transportation, leaving you free to enjoy the ride—or to sleep through most of it, if that’s what’s needed. (Ride sourcing services do not provide professionally trained drivers; however, the services’ social network functions do hold drivers and passengers accountable to safety and reliability through ratings exchanges between users after every ride.) The primary disadvantage of those methods of transportation is that their availability is often severely limited, if they are available at all, outside of urban areas.
So what do you do if you want to drive out to the bar for a night of drinking, but you know you can’t rely on public transportation, taxi, or ride sourcing services for a ride home? There is another option, available everywhere and at no additional charge than the fuel you are already spending to drive out and back: a designated driver.
A designated driver is a relative, friend, or acquaintance who agrees to do all the driving for the night after the drinking begins. Ideally, a designated driver will not be consuming any alcohol that night; however, if the plan is to be out late, a responsible designated driver can plan to have a few drinks early in the night, leaving enough time between the last drink and departure to be sober. The trick is to find someone willing to go out, but able to abstain when others—likely friends—will be drinking. Understandably, the role of designated driver is not a popular one. If you frequently go out with a particular friend or group of friends, a rotating roster is the best way to ensure consistent use of a designated driver. All parties have equal turns at driving and merry inebriation.
Finally, if public transit, taxis, ride sourcing services, and designated drivers are not available, plan on walking. Or drink at home, and stay there.