06 December 2018

The campaign will once again offer free soft drinks to those drivers who stay sober to ensure loved ones get home safely throughout the festive period

Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland has announced plans for its 14th annual Designated Driver campaign, encouraging the nation to give the ‘Gift of a Lift’ this Christmas to help keep our roads safe and alcohol-free.


The award-winning campaign that gives free soft drinks or water to designated drivers will go live from 1st December, with a number of social media influencers lending their support for the 2018 campaign.


Cool FM presenter Rebecca McKinney is among the online influencers who will help to generate awareness of the importance and generosity of the unsung heroes who keeping our roads safe at Christmas. Rebecca will take her turn as a Designated Driver for a night over the festive period and will also shine a light on friends or loved ones who go the extra mile to return the favour.


Representing the Police Service Northern Ireland, Inspector Rosie Leech said, "We are delighted to support this very worthwhile campaign again this year. When we launched the police winter drink drive operation on Friday, we appealed to people going out to enjoy the festivities to put as much effort into planning how to get home safely, as they do planning their night out. Book a taxi, take a bus or have a designated driver who can avail of this excellent initiative, but Never, EVER drink and drive. I do not want officers knocking on doors at any time of the year, but especially over Christmas and the New Year, to tell a family that a loved one has been killed or seriously injured because someone decided to drive after drinking.”


Lynda Hurley, Head of Safe and Sustainable Travel Promotion and Outreach in the Department for Infrastructure also said, “In 2017, there were 8 deaths and 76 seriously injured casualties where drink or drug related driving/riding was the principal cause of the collision.  This means that last year alone, alcohol and/or drugs related driving accounted for 13% of all deaths. “There is no excuse for driving after consuming alcohol. The bottom line is that any alcohol, even just one drink, will impair your driving ability. 


“We are happy to continue our support for Coca-Cola’s annual Designated Driver campaign. Enjoy the holiday season and always remember the only safe level of alcohol to take, when driving, is none.”


Ciara Cashen, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca-Cola HBC said: Our business takes immense pride in supporting road safety throughout the Christmas season. We are delighted to continue our support for designated drivers by providing free soft drinks from our range to those who go the extra mile to ensure their loved ones get home safely.”


In Northern Ireland, the campaign is supported by the Department of Infrastructure, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hospitality Ulster and the Northern Irish Hotel Federation.

Over the past 14 years, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland has invested approximately €7 million in the campaign to help promote road safety during the Christmas period.


Designated Driver runs from 1st December 2018 to 1st January 2019.  For more information visit