Designated Driver is Coca-Cola’s annual initiative that rewards those unsung heroes of Christmas, who ensure that their friends and family members get home safely with the simple gift of a lift.
Drivers can grab two soft drinks from the Coca-Cola range free of charge at over 550 participating venues across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Coca-Cola outlined that drivers need to make themselves known to bar staff to avail of a free drink.
The soft-drink giant noted that Christmas is an expensive time of year, and paying for parking when on a night out can be an added strain on your purse strings.
Speaking on behalf of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, Miles Karemacher, general manager, said, “It’s fantastic to be back celebrating Christmas in the way we all know and love.
“The past two years have been incredibly difficult for our customers in the hospitality industry, so we are delighted to continue our Designated Driver campaign and encourage consumers to celebrate safely this festive season. We’re incredibly proud of this campaign and the role it plays in recognising designated drivers for the past 18 years, so please enjoy this festive season and celebrate safely.”
Coca-Cola knows that this can be an additional barrier for designated drivers, and for that reason, it will also reward them by providing free parking spaces at Q-Park car parks in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, Grand Parade, Cork, Eyre Square, Galway, and Victoria Square, Belfast, every weekend during the month of December.
Drivers simply need to pre-book their spot in participating Q-Parks via Q-park.ie and enter the promo code CocaCola at checkout to get parking for free.
Designated drivers will also be able to avail of a special Christmas car valet from the Coca-Cola elves while they are parked before 6pm.
This year, broadcaster and influencer Carl Mullan is stepping up on behalf of designated drivers everywhere to raise awareness of the crucial role that they play in helping others celebrate Christmas and encouraging them to gain the recognition that they deserve with Coca-Cola.
Mullan will be joined by fellow broadcaster Melissa Riddell in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of Designated Driver, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton, said, “We all want to come together this festive season to celebrate with friends and family members, but no one wants that celebration to result in death or injuries because of a road collision.
“Unfortunately, 142 deaths have occurred on our roads already this year – an increase of 23, compared to the same period in 2021.
“No one wants that to be their family member or friend. The Designated Driver campaign not only encourages drivers to stay sober with free soft drinks, but it also recognises the contribution they make in keeping their loved ones safe.”