Although you probably don't enjoy parties as much when you're assigned to be a designated driver, it's a very important role for a number of reasons. You may feel like a babysitter, but remember that without you, your friends who are drinking may not be able to get home safely, legally, or at all. Here are three reasons why you and your friends should be sure to have a designated driver every time you go out to a party, even if you have to hire one from a designated driver service.
1. Keeping everyone safe
Just under one in three deaths caused by traffic accidents are influenced by alcohol. This adds up to about thirty people daily in the US alone. If you care about safety, either your own or your friends' or that of innocent children riding in other cars that may be hit by a drunk driver, you'll make sure that you and your friends don't drink and drive. And that doesn't mean deciding who's the least drunk after the party and having them drive; even a little alcohol in your bloodstream can impair your driving ability, and some states have a zero-tolerance policy. So it's important to plan in advance for one person to abstain from all alcohol for the evening.
2. Keeping your record clean
Although some states do allow a little alcohol in the blood while driving, police officers can arrest you for less. This means you could potentially get a DUI on your record even if you don't deserve one, especially if other circumstances make it seem like you have a questionable amount of alcohol in your blood (for example, if you're exhausted and aren't driving as cautiously as usual, or if the car smells like alcohol because your friends have been drinking in it). Making sure you're completely clean when you're driving other people who've been drinking is the best way to make sure you don't get one of these circumstantial DUIs.
3. Letting everyone enjoy the party
If you don't know in advance how you're going to get home, you may find that the party is less enjoyable, especially if you're a worrier. And if you're the most responsible person in your group of friends, you may find that failing to plan a driver in advance means you end up as the default designated driver every time. Taking turns abstaining from alcohol will mean you don't get caught in a situation where all your friends are drinking and you can't have any fun because you feel automatically responsible for them; you'll know in advance whether or not you'll be able to drink tonight, and you'll be able to let someone else be the responsible person most of the time.
These three compelling reasons show why planning a designated driver in advance is the only responsible thing to do when you're going out with a group of friends. To make it fair, you can keep a rotating list and have everyone take turns in order, or you can all draw straws before each party if you prefer being slightly more random.
Talk to a professional like Thomas A Corletta to learn more.