Being the designated driver


Erin Mullen and her van, Homer the Honda Odyssey. Her van comes equipped with Clorox wipes, plastic grocery sacks and plastic carpet covers to maximize her effectiveness as a designated driver.

ERIN MULLEN, Evergreen data analyst

If my minivan could talk, she’d tell me she’s really upset with me for all of the drunk people I’ve made her put up with. But despite all I’ve put my van through, being the designated driver does have its perks.

Friends are often willing to pay the DD in free meals, gas money or cookies. They might even give you a few of the 50 chicken nuggets they insist on buying. If they’re not thankful that you volunteered to be DD, make sure you get a video of them crying to “My Heart Will Go On,” by Celine Dion. That should teach them to be more courteous in the future.

On the occasion that you find yourself getting bored while your friends are having fun drinking, prompt them to do something funny. For example, suggest an activity you know will be hilarious to watch your drunken friends attempt, like roller skating or karaoke.

Tip #26 from a professional designated driver – People are much more likely to sing in their highest falsetto when they are drunk. Make sure you are prepared for this.

If you’re at a loss for what to do with your intoxicated friends when they start to get rowdy, just keep in mind that drunk college students are like toddlers – they cry for no reason, they’re easily distracted by shiny objects and a ride in the car will put them right to sleep. Turn down the music, make sure everyone is buckled in and the next thing you know, they’ll be snoring away in your back seat. Again, another great opportunity for a video.

Come prepared with a bucket, tissues, a portable charger and, most importantly, Clorox wipes. When a crisis arises, you’ll be thankful you have them. The bucket will come in handy if one of your drunk buddies decides your car’s interior would look nice decorated in vomit.

Tip #11 – Make sure they don’t drop whatever container they’re using as a puke receptacle. If that happens, floor liners for your car will save your designated ass. Invest in a set.

Should the bucket and floor liners fail you, take care of that mess ASAP. You don’t want your car to absorb the vodka vomit. Send a Snapchat of the damage to your guilty friend and say you’ll add it to their bill. Cleaning up someone else’s vomit is never appealing, so if you can’t bear to face the disaster your car has become, rest assured that your friend is obligated to clean it up. Not your vomit, not your problem.

Tip #1 – Everyone should have the wonderful opportunity to be the designated driver at some point. Your friends will thank you for it, even if your car does not.

Erin Mullen is a senior computer science major from Federal Way. She can be contacted at [email protected].