In college, every weekend is a party. Whether you choose to stay in and watch Netflix or head to the bars with your squad, it's the perfect time to de-stress from the week's responsibilities. However, Uber and Lyft fares can rack up pretty quickly, especially when the demand for them is high during peak hours. When I came to college, I was honestly disgusted by how normalized drunk driving was. More than often, people will argue that they "aren't that drunk," or that they've done it before and haven't gotten pulled over. Other conversations that I have overheard have argued that Ubers and Lyfts are way too expensive, so it would be cheaper if they just drove themselves home.
I would rather be the designated driver every weekend than wake up to a text saying one of my friends suffered a tragic accident due to drunk driving.
Having personally known people that have suffered a loss due to drunk driving, I feel very strongly against drunk driving. With today's resources, there is truly no excuse to drink and drive. In 2016, almost 29 people in the United States died in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes every day—that's one person every 50 minutes.
Nonetheless, I will always offer to be the designated driver for my friends, because I don't want to be the next person to lose a loved one to drunk driving. No matter what, I want to make it known that if they can't find a ride home, I will always be down to pick them up, no matter the time or the place. If something were to happen to them, I wouldn't want to regret it later.
Whenever someone asks if I want a drink and I respond saying "No thanks, I'm the DD tonight," people tend to respond in one of two ways. Some assume that I'm having absolutely no fun whatsoever, and might even persist to still try to buy me something even though I'm not going to be convinced to drink if I've agreed to be the designated driver. Others think that it's really cool that I offer to drive my friends, especially on weekends when I could be going out myself.
Being completely honest, I get the first type of response a lot more often than the second. A lot of people assume that being the DD must be a buzzkill on Friday nights when I could have better things to do, but I never go home thinking to myself "Damn, I definitely shouldn't have offered to be the DD tonight," because time keeping my friends safe is time well spent, and it always will be. They're my friends for a reason, and I don't know what I would do without any of them, and I don't want to find out anytime soon.
College has seen me at some of my worst times but brought me the best people, and I don't want them to become another statistic or tragic news headline. It's extremely important to look out for others, and I would rather be sober in a bar full of drunk people than worry about if all of my friends made it home safely.