Keeping to the soft drinks can be a bit of a pain when you’re the ‘deso driver’ – out with your mates and in need of something to hold in your hand. Especially when your post-mixed softy sets you back $4 and is mostly a cup full of ice.
Well, today Coke and the NSW Government have stepped in to give designated drivers free access to non-alcoholic Coca-Cola drinks over the bar at more than 120 participating pubs this summer in NSW. The pilot program aims to make it easier and more affordable to keep off the drinks while keeping refreshed.
Coca-Cola South Pacific spokeswoman Christine Black said in a statement:
“Designated drivers are unsung heroes and we wanted to tip our cap to their contribution in making our roads that much safer.
At the start of the night, designated drivers simply identify themselves to bar staff and receive a wristband which entitles them to free drinks. They then can choose from the Coca-Cola portfolio including Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke and Sprite.
A similar program has been running in the UK for the past 10 years with strong support from the government and local communities but this is the first time it will be available to Australians. If it’s successful in New South Wales and Queensland, the plan will be to see the program rolled out to other pubs and venues around the country.
Transport for NSW statistics reveal drink driving remains a serious issue on our roads. It is a factor in about one in every five crashes across the state where someone loses their life. In the 12 months to October 2016 alcohol was a contributing factor in 47 fatal accidents, while fatigue was a factor in 75 fatal crashes.
Weekends are the worst times with a third of all fatal drink driving crashes in NSW occurring between 9 pm and 3 am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Parliamentary Secretary for Roads John Sidoti said the NSW Government is pleased to support the Designated Driver program and its efforts to support road safety in NSW.
The campaign will be supported by the release of the “Designated Driver Man” film this week to run on social media and digital platforms throughout summer.
Photo via the Daily Telegraph