Don’t let being the designated driver dampen your Christmas spirit

The festive season brings a bit of sparkle to our lives, from getting into your best glittery gear to enjoying a celebratory glass of fizz.

But if your seasonal shindigs are less champagne and more cranberry juice, read our tips on how to embrace being the designated driver this Christmas…

Designated driver at the work Christmas do

Maybe you’ve got childcare commitments, or you need to work the next day. Maybe you just don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your boss!

Whatever the reason you’re the designated driver at your work’s Christmas do, it doesn’t have to be a drag. Everyone loves an office romance, so take advantage of your sober state and play cupid with Jessica and Bob from HR – we all know they belong together!

Plus, plan in advance exactly who you’ll be driving home – no-one wants an overloaded car.

Try to tame your tipsy passengers before they get into your car, so they don’t distract you while you’re trying to drive, and keep your windows open to give them some fresh air.

Designated driver at the Christmas markets

A jolly jaunt to your local Christmas market is as much a festive tradition as mince pies. If you happen to be in the driving seat, use the cash you’d have spent on mulled wine on gifts instead – maybe even reward yourself with one for being so selfless!

These things are always awash with frantic festive shoppers, so consider your route beforehand to avoid any troublesome traffic, and have a back-up parking spot in mind, just in case the car park’s full.

Plus, don’t be tempted to store your treasures in the boot to avoid lugging bags around – it’s unfortunate, but thieves are aplenty at this time of year.

Designated driver at the family Christmas dinner

Christmastime doesn’t just mean mistletoe and wine, it means seeing long-lost family members you haven’t seen since… last Christmas?

It’s fair to say that the odd tipple is required when having to act surprised and amazed at yet another pair of socks from that second cousin whose name you can’t quite remember.

But if there’s one advantage to being the sober one at the family Christmas dinner, it’s getting to hang out with the kids and play with all their cool new gizmos and gadgets – they didn’t have these in your day!

Designated driver at ‘Twixtmas’ celebrations

Ah, that time between Christmas and New Year when no-one knows what day it is and you’ve consumed more of a Yule forest than a Yule log…

If you’re kind enough to ferry around your friends and family during Twixtmas, firstly make sure you do the smart thing and arrange for someone to return the favour for you at New Year.

Then, check you have a camera on hand at all times to gather any incriminating evidence for use at a later date – all in good fun, of course…

And why not channel your inner Tom Cruise and concoct some non-alcoholic cocktails? There are loads of great alternatives to alcohol available these days, and you’ll wake up the next day with a clear head and a new skill.

Stay safe: Don’t drink and drive

Amongst all of the festive fun you’re set to have with your friends and family, the serious message here is ‘none for the road’: Not having any alcohol at all is much easier than second-guessing exactly how many units you’ve had, and whether or not you’re fit to drive.

The consequences of a drink-driving conviction are endless: As well as potentially increasing your Car Insurance premium by up to 100%, you could go to prison, receive an unlimited fine, or get a driving ban, according to GOV UK.

Don’t take any chances on your own safety and the safety of others: Don’t drink and drive.