Designated drivers will get free Coca-Cola this Christmas, thanks to a scheme organised between the soft drinks juggernaut and the Department for Transport (DfT).
Launched by Road Safety Minister Mike Penning today, more than 8,000 pubs and student union bars have signed up for the scheme, which is designed primarily to stop 17 to 29-year-olds drink driving this Yuletide.
Part of the THINK! Christmas drink drive campaign, the scheme gives the designated driver of a group a free Coke or Diet coke at a participating bar or club.
Designated drivers can find participating bars using Coca-Cola's online pub finder, enabling them to annoy their drinking buddies by *insisting* that everyone goes to a particular establishment, just for one free Coke.
Obviously we're not belittling the scheme - the drinkers should bow to every whim of the person heroic enough to volunteer themselves designated driver - but we do think that said driver should probably expect to have all his drinks paid for by his buddies anyway. Just saying.
Of the scheme, Mike Penning said: "The number of drink drive deaths has fallen by more than 75 percent since 1979, but drink driving is still devastating lives with around 250 people killed in collisions where a driver was over the limit last year.
And Jon Woods from Coca-Cola GB, he said:
"With the majority of adults preparing to visit a pub or bar over the festive period we are proud to be partnering the Government's THINK! Initiative to reward responsible drivers. Designated Drivers provide a fantastic service by helping their friends and family get home safely at the end of a night out. That's why we think it is so important to recognise and reward them."
And the man from Del Monte, he said: "Yes!"
(This is not a paid advert for Coke, by the way, but we agree it does look that way. To prove it, we'll say this: Pepsi rocks. But not Virgin Cola. Yack.)