With the Christmas party season now in full swing, the assigned role of designated driver during the month of December can be seen as a sobering and boring job for many. However research released by Coca-Cola Great Britain today has revealed that almost 9 out of 10 (87%) people who volunteer to be the designated driver on a night out this Christmas still feel they will have a great time despite not being able to drink alcohol.

The new survey*, investigating attitudes towards the role of drinking and driving up and down the country, reflected a more responsible and positive generation when it came to taking on the driving role, as nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to happily take on the duty of designated driver at least once for friends during the festive period.

Those polled, aged between 18 and 34, enjoyed the financial benefits that come with being the designated driver with nearly three-quarters (73%) expecting to save about £50 on average over the course of two nights out during December. 

The research also revealed the role of the designated driver isn’t such a thankless task either - over half (61%) of designated drivers revealed their friends would always offer to buy them their soft drinks on a night out at the pub.

And over two-thirds (70%) of those who said they’d be hitching a lift from friends this Christmas said they’d contribute to parking and petrol costs.

The findings are announced as Coca-Cola GB launches its Designated Driver campaign in partnership with THINK!, the Department of Transport’s road safety  campaign, offering drivers ‘buy one get one free’ on a range of Coca-Cola products in bars and pubs throughout December. Now in its seventh year, 2014’s campaign is bigger than ever with the offer available in 12,500 pubs and bars nationwide. This year’s offer is available across Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero and for the first time across the Schweppes range.

The Designated Driver scheme follows the launch of the 50th anniversary campaign from THINK! last month, which demonstrated how attitudes towards drink driving have changed in the last half century since the first public information film was shown. This research showed that 92% of the British public would be ashamed to drink and drive. This was supported by the research commissioned by Coca-Cola, the vast majority (83%) of people surveyed said they would never be tempted to encourage the designated driver to have a drink once inside the pub on a night out.

Jon Woods, General Manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “For the seventh year we’re celebrating the unsung heroes of the festive party season – the designated drivers who drive friends and family back and forth to the pub. This year the campaign is bigger than ever with more than 12,500 pubs and bars across the country taking part. It’s great to see that so many people are willing to take on the role of the designated driver this Christmas and this is our way of saying thank you.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: “I’m delighted that Coca-Cola is giving more support than ever to this campaign. As their new polling shows, designated drivers still enjoy a brilliant night out in the Great British pub at Christmas.  Having a designated driver doesn’t dampen the party spirit, and means that everyone can have a safe journey home.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Most people know drinking and driving is wrong and don’t do it, but there are still those that take the risk. Anyone tempted to have a tipple at Christmas time before getting behind the wheel should know the potential consequences. As well as risking an accident, you risk losing your licence. If you rely on a car for work, this could mean losing your job and wreck your chance of future employment.”

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Join the Designated Driver conversation using #DesignatedHero

For further information regarding the Coca-Cola Great Britain

Designated Driver campaign please contact:

Jack Shilling, Lexis Agency

0207 908 6457, jshilling@lexisagency.com

Sandie McKenzie, Lexis Agency

0207 908 6408, smckenzie@lexisagency.com

For further information around THINK’s 50th anniversary drink-driving campaign, please call the press enquiries line on 020 7944 3066

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Notes to editors:

* Online interviews carried out by Redshift Research with a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of UK adults aged between 18 and 34 years. 2,000 interviews were conducted in November 2014.

Coca-Cola Great Britain

Coca‑Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 23 brands and over 100 products to consumers across Great Britain, with a focus upon developing new brands and extending existing brands including Coca‑Cola (recognised as one of the world’s most valuable brands).

Other Coca‑Cola Great Britain brands include Diet Coke, Coca‑Cola Zero, Coca‑Cola Life, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, Glaceau vitaminwater, glaceau smartwater, Schweppes, 5 Alive, Lilt, Kia Ora, Relentless Energy Drink and Powerade.

For more information about Coca‑Cola in Great Britain, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.co.uk