Over 1.3 million Designated Drivers to help keep Scotland’s road safe this Christmas



  • Partygoers to receive over 5.5 million lifts home over the festive period, as 1 in 3 plan to abstain from alcohol on nights out
  • Figures come alongside research that 61% of Scottish adults plan to visit a pub or bar over the festive season
  •  Coca-Cola and Scottish Government unite to reward responsible drivers with “buy one, get one free” on Coca-Cola and Diet Coke

According to new research commissioned by Coca-Cola, over 1.3 million Scots will give up alcohol for one night or more over the holiday period, helping to ensure millions get home safely.  5.5 million lifts will be given to friends and family as they enjoy a festive night out at pubs and bars, but without the transport costs at the end of the evening.

Coca Cola, the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland will today pledge to reward responsible drivers at the launch of this year’s Designated Driver Campaign at The Albanach pub on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Now in its fourth year, the UK-wide Designated Driver Campaign will reward drivers who choose not to drink alcohol with a “buy one, get one free” offer on Coca-Cola and Diet Coke.  The promotion will run in over 1,000 pubs and bars in Scotland until 31st December.

The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland are supporting the scheme for the first time this year as part of their festive drink drive campaign which encourages Scots to consider the tougher consequences they face if they drink drive this Christmas. As well as losing their licence with an automatic 12–month ban, those who do so face a criminal record, a fine of up to £5,000 and losing their car.

 At a UK level, the campaign is part of an ongoing partnership with the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Driver Friendly campaign, part of the THINK! road safety initiative.  

Coca-Cola’s own research shows that those who abstain from alcohol to drive others home this Christmas are providing a crucial role, as 61% of Scottish adults plan to visit a pub or bar over the festive season. 1 in 3 adults plan to give up alcohol on a night out to help ensure their friends or family get home safely. 

For the first time NUS bars will also take part in the campaign, as over 8,000 pubs and bars across the UK sign on to support responsible drivers.  Last year over 1 million Coca-Cola drinks were given away for free across the UK.

A dedicated website has also been set up to encourage consumers to take advantage of the offer. From the 9th December designated drivers and their friends can visit http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/designated-driver/ to find a participating pub in their area.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Last year over 7,000 people were caught driving under the influence of drink or drugs in Scotland. Those who do choose to get behind the wheel after drinking face even tougher consequences this festive period – as well as losing their licence, being banned from driving and facing a fine and criminal record, they can also lose their car. Coca-Cola’s Designated Driver campaign encourages Scots to give their friends and family a safe lift home, and we’re supporting the scheme to say don’t risk it this Christmas.”  

Alan Halliday, Director, Scotland, Coca-Cola, said: “Designated Drivers provide an amazing service to friends and family.  They allow people to have a good night and also help keep roads safe, so everyone can enjoy the Christmas period.  By rewarding drivers who chose not to drink with a free Coke or Diet Coke, we hope even more people will be encouraged to do the right thing and become responsible drivers.” 

David Gould, Manager at The Albanach said: “We see a lot of people come in over the Christmas period who are responsible for driving their friends and family home at the end of the night.  That’s why we are delighted to be participating in Coca-Cola’s Designated Driver Campaign this year.  It will reward our regulars and make sure they still have a good night out.”

Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride said: “I am delighted to support Coca Cola, the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland’s Designated Driver Campaign.  This is a great initiative that I hope will encourage more people to be a designated driver and keep our roads safe over the festive period.”



Notes to editors:

The launch event will take place on 14th December between 9.15 – 9.45am at The Albanach pub on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

The Designated Driver campaign forms part of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s pledge to promote the positive role that soft drinks can play as credible alternatives to alcohol. The Designated Driver Campaign is a key feature of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s overall commitment to responsible marketing.

About the research

The research was conducted by Populus for Coca-Cola in November 2011 with 2000 adults – including 178 in Scotland. 

Key findings from Scotland include:

  • Three in ten adults will abstain from alcohol on at least one night to drive others home
  • Over three quarters of the adult population have used a designated driver on a night out
  • Three fifths of adults plan to go to a pub or bar over the Christmas and New Year period
  • Almost half plan to spend £20 or less on a night out in the pub
  • Father Christmas was the most popular famous driver of choice for the end of a night out
  • Over half a million designated drivers will perform the role more than once this Christmas
  • Almost three quarters of respondents thought that the best thing about Designated Drivers is that they ensure people get home safely at the end of a night out

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio features 14 billion dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.7 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland:

Scotland is getting even tougher on drink driving. If you choose to drink/drive you are choosing to lose your licence with an automatic 12-month ban, up to a £5000 fine, a criminal record and an increased risk of losing your car under the forfeiture scheme running in Scotland.

The Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland have launched a new marketing campaign running over the festive period with the message that, “if you chose to drink and drive you are choosing to lose your licence”.

About the DfT THINK! Drink Drive campaign and Driver Friendly initiative:

The number of people killed in drink drive accidents has been reduced by over three-quarters since 1979 thanks mainly to more than 30 years of Government education campaigns and measures to improve enforcement. However, drink driving is still a problem and last year around 250 people lost their lives in drink drive accidents onBritain’s road.

The Department for Transport’sDrink Drivecampaign has had a long-standing and well supported partnership with the on-trade and soft drinks industry. In December 2009, this was developed into the ‘Driver Friendly’ campaign which aims to support the designated driver through the provision of promotional offers and ‘rewards’, linked to the purchase of soft drinks, on their night out. Ultimately, the aim is that Driver Friendly will become a symbol of support for the driver in pubs, bars and restaurants throughout the country. Coca-Cola GB is the lead Driver Friendly partner for Christmas 2011.



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