The Ultimate Guide To Being The Deso Driver

From stopping the drunk texts to abstaining from peer pressure.

Uni parties, 21sts, after work drinks with the gang, and club-hopping on weekends. While these alcohol-fuelled pastimes are a rite of passage in Australia, and can undeniably be lots of fun, the real MVP on a night out is the friend who is there to drive you home, saving you an hour wait in the freezing cold for a taxi or $30 Uber fare.

The deso, or designated driver, is the friend who volunteers sobriety for the night to be there for their mates and to be a safe lift home. I am often the deso friend, because I have just as much fun without alcohol, and I much prefer to know that my friends are not going to be hitchhiking, getting in random cars, or even driving themselves home from the club.


There are really only three steps to being a good deso.

Firstly, if you put your hand up to be the deso friend, make sure you keep that promise. There is no doubt your friends will try to lure you to the liquor, but say no to the peer pressure and stick to waters, soft drinks and mocktails. Enjoy being headache-free in the morning. Not only will you be able to remember the hilarious stories from the night before but your friends will be eternally grateful that you got them home.

The second step is to look after your friends. This does not mean it is your job to be the mum friend — you do not have to run around after everyone making sure they have had a glass of water between each bevvie — but a good deso does keep an eye out for their mates. I’ve had to rebutton some friends’ dresses after a trip to the loo, stop some risky ex-texts, and get the bar to stop serving my so-drunk-they’re-paralytic friend so I could get them home. But all of this is a small price to pay to know that they were safe.

Finally, when you’re taking your friends home, just make sure that they actually get inside safely. There is no point being a safe ride home if your friend ends up sleeping on their footpath.

Don’t Worry About The Haters

Once you have those three steps down, the only thing you will have to worry about is potentially copping some slack from your friends for abstaining from the frothies.

I’m not a big drinker at the best of times, so I am well used to being the target of peer pressure. What is important to remember is that any banter will be short lived, and at the end of the night the deso is everyone’s best friend. Trust me. (Bonus points if you stop for chips and gravy or a souvlaki en route.)

You Can Still Have Fun

Being sober does not mean you have to have a bad time either. In fact, I often have more fun watching my friends let their freak flags fly, and dancing along side them without a care in the world, knowing that I am in far more control of what is going on around me than when I have had a tipple or two.

If that’s not enough, think of the money you are saving, and know that your liver appreciates the break.

(Lead image: Blockers/Universal)