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You Don’t Have To Be The Designated Driver

2023 Happy New Year concept with cars

New Year’s Eve is here and so are the conversations about who is driving, if you’re getting a taxi, or who can do the drop offs at the end of the night. As someone who is sober, the driving should not automatically be left to you and you don’t have to be the designated driver. 

If you’re wondering what we’re talking about, the designated driver is the person who is nominated to drive as opposed to drink, meaning that there is a way to get home at the end of the night without relying on public transport or taxis. Now, you can absolutely offer to be this person should you wish to, but it should never be assumed. 

designated driver with friend and his drinks

Just because you’re not drinking doesn’t mean you’re the one who should be the taxi service of the friendship group or family, and the people you are with should respect that. There are actually so many reasons why someone might not want to drive at night, or carry people who have been drinking in the back of their car! 

If you’re wondering how you can set yourself up for a more enjoyable time and how to navigate conversations around driving and staying sober over the holidays, then here are some tips to get you thinking.

Be honest if you’re asked

If someone asks if you will drive, be honest with your response. If you’re happy to drive then of course you can agree, but if you’re not feeling it, express your feelings. Whether it’s not wanting to drive in the dark or at night, or you want to fully relax, tell them how you’re feeling.

Ask for fuel money if you do!

If you do end up being the driver for the evening, make sure people are contributing to fuel costs so you don’t end up running to empty while dropping everyone at their homes. 

Don’t be afraid to set your boundaries

There is no shame in not wanting to be the driver. Make sure you open up those conversations and you can simply say that you don’t want to drive. The right people around you won’t have anything to say about that. 

Be firm on your home time

If you’re driving, be firm on when you want to leave. You shouldn’t have to stay longer than you’d planned to accommodate the convenience of others. Communicate it and stick to it.

Remember that all of this is your choice, and you are able to do exactly as you please. If you want to be the driver, that is a different conversation, but you shouldn’t feel put on or pressured as the sober person to be the one who drives around.

If it is a choice you make, look out for offers at the venues you’re going to, as many of them have free drinks or discounts for those driving around this time of year. 

Also, if you find yourself being pressured into driving, consider the plans you had made and the people you’re surrounding yourself with, as it might be time to look at those relationships on a deeper level. 

The festivities can still be fun, and we would argue that they’re even more enjoyable without a hangover and you can remember everything that happened. Enjoy yourself and a sober New Year’s Eve, and get involved in the celebrations the way that suits you.

Help Me Stop

If you’re looking for support with drug or alcohol addiction in 2023, then speak to a member of our team about how we can support you. 

We offer alcohol and drug addiction treatment programmes in London, Winchester, and also through our online programme. We have created a Dayhab model that is non-residential and means that our clients can integrate their recovery into their daily lives.

Our treatment programme centres around integrative psychotherapy, which blends a number of evidence-based therapies, including the 12 step approach to addiction treatment, person-centred therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, art therapy, recovery workshops, mindfulness, and more. We work mainly in group sessions, and every client also has a one-to-one counselling session each week with their focal counsellor. 

At Help Me Stop, we are here to support our clients through the journey of recovery, and we will be here for them every step of the way. You can get in touch with us to find out more about how we work and help those who come to us for treatment, and discover whether or not it is the right route for you.
Please reach out for a confidential chat by calling 0208 191 9191 or email us on Together, we will help you stop.

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