The idea of the designated driver is that one person in a group of drinkers will not drink alcoholic beverages so that he or she can transport those who are drinking safely home. This does not mean letting the one who has had the least to drink, or who simply appears to be less impaired than others, drive. It means that person takes complete responsibility for getting the rest of the group home safely and does not drink at all. Some public or private establishments that serve alcohol have designated drivers on staff to ensure their drinking patrons reach home safely. Others use a taxi service to protect impaired drivers (and others on the roadways) from driving while intoxicated. Designated drivers are a good customer service and offer protection against legal action that might result from letting an alcohol-impaired customer drive.
A good host will provide a designated driver if he is serving alcohol at a party or event.
During some holidays and celebrations such as New Year’s Eve, many communities provide safe ride programs with volunteer designated drivers to reduce alcohol-related crashes.