Incentive for responsible designated drivers

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OVER 250 pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants in Northern Ireland will be giving away free soft drinks to help reduce instances of drink driving this Christmas.

The annual Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign campaign launches this week, the award winning initiative aims to reduce instances of drink driving and promote safety at Christmas. Safety-conscious designated drivers in Northern Ireland will have something extra to smile about with the news that more than 250 licensed premises will be giving away free non-alcoholic beverages this festive season, courtesy of Coca-Cola.

Minister for the Environment, Alex Attwood also expressed his support for the initiative. “I fully support any initiative that improves road safety,” he said.

“As we look forward to Christmas, we have a duty to our own families and friends to ensure we are there to celebrate with them. We also have to ensure other people are able to celebrate with their relatives and friends too. The safest way to do that is to book a taxi or have a designated driver who will not drink alcohol.”

The 2011 Coca-Cola Designated Driver campaign goes live on this week until Sunday 1 January 2012 and is supported by the PSNI, Pubs of Ulster and the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation.

Muir Clarke, Head of Road Traffic Policing for the PSNI said: “We are delighted to support this very worthwhile campaign. Our message to road users is very simple. Do not drink and drive. We do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell families that a loved one has been killed on the roads because someone decided to drive after drinking.”

In Northern Ireland, Coca-Cola supplies a range of beverages and in order to cater for any taste, on offer is a full selection including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta Orange, Fanta Lemon, Fruice juices and Cordials, Deep RiverRock Still and Sparkling and Appletiser.

Kylie Dunlop, Marketing Manager, Licensed Trade, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland, said:“Christmas is about giving and celebrating and through the Designated Driver programme, Coca-Cola is delighted to offer free soft drinks as a tangible reward to consumers for volunteering to be the designated driver on fun night outs this festive season.”

The campaign’s website www.designateddriver.ie provides a full list of participating licensed outlets across Northern Ireland.

This year, for the first time, designated drivers will be able to download their free drinks vouchers before they visit the venues via the site or by scanning the QR code featured on outdoor advertisements.

A designated driver is defined as someone who is driving friends and family home from a night out socialising, while abstaining from alcohol for the evening. The designated driver may avail of free soft drinks from the Coca-Cola range over the course of the evening in participating licensed premises.