Let’s not kid ourselves, there are loads of downsides to being the designated driver, like dealing with the drama of your drunk friends/family, an abundance of late night takeaway scraps in every nook and cranny of your car (how does one even manage to get Macca's fries in the door handle?), and the general feeling of FOMO you experience when it feels like everyone else is on a different level of 'fun' than you.
Indeed, all of these reasons can be a bit of a bummer, however, the good news is, taking one for the team and being the ‘deso’ isn’t all doom and gloom. So in the light of seeing the glass half full, here are just some of the perks of being the designated driver, other than feeling good about knowing your loved ones are securely tucked in after a night out — all thanks to you.
Okay, so you did the deed and gave a ride to your drunkest friends, put up with their ruckus, and dropped them off safe and sound — that means they owe you, big time. You can redeem your ‘deso’ points for literally anything; brekky in the morning, help with moving things, a couple of freebie drinks on the next night out, the list goes on and on. Oh, and if you think your friends were too inebriated to remember, you can always give them a cheeky 6am reminder call.
Drinks, Ubers, kebabs — the cost of these things go hand in hand with a good night out for most of us, but not when you are the designated driver. You’ll be able to look at your bank account the next day without any fear or flashbacks of shouting everyone a shot or paying for rides all over town.
With your friends being dependant on you for a ride home, you hold all the power. Not having a good time anywhere? We’re leaving. Want to swing by somewhere on the way home? No problem. You are in complete control of where the night heads when you hold the car keys.
It’s pretty much an unofficial rule that passengers always shout the ‘deso’ when they hit a late night drive-thru. It’s a common courtesy that can score you a meal from pretty much anywhere that is open on the way home (remember, you choose the destination) and your mates will foot the bill. It’s the tastiest reason to be the giver of lifts.
Without the impairment of alcohol and the comfort of knowing everyone around you probably won’t remember, you can really bring something extra to the dance floor. No wobbly legs or cloudy mind to stop you from busting out the moves you’ve been working on in your bedroom, in front of the mirror, when no one is around…
Obviously the designated driver needs to have good hand-eye coordination, which not only gets your mates home safely, but also comes in handy when you’re out and about. Destroying your friends at darts, pool, or foosball, with your razor-sharp focus, will earn you the admiration of your friends and patrons of the bar — and we all know that winners are grinners.
Have you ever driven your car into town, had a bit too much party juice, gotten an Uber home, and then forgotten where you parked your car? If you haven’t experienced this nightmare, that is equally as frustrating as it is panicky, give yourself a pat on the back. The best way to avoid this altogether, however, is by being the designated driver and never needing to park your car down some random, hard to find, back alley on a Friday night.
We’ve all woken up the day after a big night, checked our phone/social media and seen some photos we wish had never seen the light of day. No one wants to see a snap of themselves, tongue out, pulling some sort of tribal warrior face, with a raised drink, looking like some sort of psycho party beast. This look only seems to come out when you’ve had a few, so you can completely avoid it by being the poised and well-rounded designated driver that you are.
Did you hear what blah-blah said about so-and-so? Yes you did. In fact, you have a crystal clear memory of what everyone said to anyone. You’ll be privy to all of the dirt getting around, and can store all this info in your gossip database.
Hands down the best part about being the designated driver will unfold the day after. While your passengers are feeling like there’s a small construction team excavating inside their heads, you’ll be out and about, getting the most out of your day, whilst constantly feeling like someone who has achieved spiritual enlightenment. Who knows, it’s such a good feeling you might even volunteer to drive again the next time!