General Question

dumbteenth's avatar

My friend does not drink when we go out. Everyone else does. Shouldn't he DD?

Asked by dumbteenth (205points) August 23rd, 2010

Okay, I don’t want to make this sound as bratty as it seems. Our friend does not drink. He still likes to go out with us on weekends though which is great, because he is our friend.

While us drinkers aren’t getting completely obliterated or anything, we do enjoy unwinding at the end of the week with a good buzz and to the extent that it probably would not be safe to drive (3 or 4 drinks in a few hours, max). Sometimes one of us drinkers needs to DD, so we’ll be good and stop after 1 drink. And it’s sort of frustrating because we have our non-drinking friend right there!

I know we shouldn’t EXPECT him to drive every time we go to the bar or a party, but wouldn’t you say it’s good form to offer to do so when you know there will be drinking involved and all of your friends are drinkers except you? It’s like, why should one of us “take one for the team” when we already have a team member who will always be the most capable of DDing? We are not inviting him solely because we need a DD, I just feel like if we’ll be participating in a social activity where drinking is the obvious centerpiece, he may as well, right? I’m still happy to pick the guy up whenever we’re doing something else, maybe a movie or lunch or hiking – but, I don’t know, is there a way to ask him if he doesn’t mind DDing without sounding like a jerk?

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55 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Sounding like a jerk?

It is a responsibility your friend has to have. If not drinking and going out with drinkers.

That friend would be a “jerk” for not offering.

dumbteenth's avatar

@ChazMaz I know, maybe, but I still feel bad…especially if he starts to feel like a chauffeur all the time. Still, though! It sucks when one of us drinkers has to volunteer to DD when our non-indulging friend is always around.

Austinlad's avatar

Sorry, but I don’t agree with @ChazMaz at all. Friend or not, why should it be his responsiblity to take care of those of you who feel the need to get too drunk to drive. Sure, it’s nice when he offers, but to expect him to do that, in my opinion, is taking advantage of the friendship.

Trillian's avatar

I mean, you can ask. That’s not so bad. It is not his responiibility to do so, but maybe a pre arranged thing. I wouldn’t expect him to do it all the time. I also don’t think that not getting ripped on your ass one weekend out of four would be that huge of a sacrifice either. Do all of you have to get too drunk to drive every time you go out? Is this really the only way you have to unwind? Really?
I might do it myself every so often, but I certainly wouldn’t feel like it al the time.
Have you discussed this with him at all? Maybe he would be willing. I don’t know, but I don’t think that just asking him would make you a jerk.

muppetish's avatar

Would it be a good gesture if he were to be the Designated Driver and make sure everyone gets home safe? Of course. It would be the responsible thing to do. Personally, I think everyone needs to have a plan before going out for drinks (and a back-up plan – especially when casual drinking is not on the menu, but a night of getting positively smashed.)

Arrangements should be made beforehand. If he wants to join the group at the bar, just ask if he’d be willing to be a designated driver. Don’t say, “Okay, but you’re driving.” If you feel that guilty about it, maybe pool in gas money? It would cost more to take a cab home. If your friend isn’t paying for mileage, there shouldn’t be much of an issue.

But if it’s a spur of the moment inquiry at the bar, I don’t think your friend should be obligated in any way to escort people home.

I’m the non-drinker among my group of friends. I’m also the only non-driver. I always have a plan.

CMaz's avatar

“why should it be his responsibility to take care of those of you who feel the need to get too drunk to drive.”

Because THAT individual got involved when they decided to go out with a bunch of “friends” that will eventually be impaired.

So it is more a concern not to take advantage of a friend, don’t want to hurt their feelings, then possibly killing friends?

Personally, this is a no brainer. Otherwise have your friend stay home. Then it is not your “friends” problem.

Also, if I was going out with friends and they were drinking and I was not. I would rather drive then have a buzzed friend behind the wheel. How F’ed would that be?

JLeslie's avatar

I was always the DD because I don’t drink, for a couple of reasons, so my friends did not have to worry about transportation, and because I did not want to rely on one of them actually being sober. Do you all offer to chip in on the gas, or buy him drinks when you are out to compensate, or show your appreciation? It is wear and tear on his car and gas money, after a while it adds up if he is the only one driving.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The times you had a ready DD, did you guys get completely wasted, loud, obnoxious, puking drunk because you could? Did anyone mess up his car? Just askin’.
If yes, then that would be the last time I would DD for you, too.

Austinlad's avatar

I think your friend has paid his dues. If you and your friends feel you need always to have a DD, get some backup and don’t make your friend the sole owner of this task.

woodcutter's avatar

Well if it were me I surely would offer if for no other reason to ensure I survive the evening in one piece. It would be nice though not to assume the “straight” guy will automatically do it. One of you should do it every once in a while. Get a taxi

Zag_grad2010's avatar

This has already been said somewhat, but I’ll give my two cents: I just graduated from college in May so I understand the drinking situation at a bar more than some of the above people. I would ask the guy nicely to be the DD occasionally, but wouldn’t abuse it and make it a burden. He is a friend first. Also, I would have everyone buy him sodas, red bulls, appitizers, or anything else he wants at the bar. It does cost him time and gas to drive people everywhere.

meagan's avatar

I’d hate to be your friend. Trying to go out and relax without drinking, and be the assumed DD.

Seek's avatar

As the perpetual DD in my own circle, I will tell you it gets really fucking old.

Particularly when some of the friends are belligerant drunks or (even worse) pass-out drunks that won’t stay awake long enough to give you directions to their house.

And on top being relegated to babysitting a bunch of intoxicated idiots, I invariably have to pay for all the gas myself, on top of paying my own way into the venue, and paying for my own soda (Yeah, $5.50 for a Coke. Awesome).

And as yet, no one has ever offered to take over for a night, so I can have a martini or two.
I have literally never consumed an alcoholic beverage outside my own home.

Fuck Designated Driving. It’s a thankless position, and a good deed that no one remembers in the morning.

dumbteenth's avatar

Well, @Seek_Kolinahr would you be sick of designated driving if your friends were not getting belligerent and passing out? Because we totally don’t. And what about if people paid for your cokes for the night or chipped in for gas? Would you be more willing? Just trying to get some perspective here. A lot of responses are talking about their friends puking and getting wasted which I should clarify we are not. It just sucks having to cut myself off after one drink when we technically could have had a safe ride home from someone who couldn’t care less about drinking.

Like I said, 3 or 4 drinks. It’s not like we’re not chugging beer bongs till we puke or anything.

CMaz's avatar

“delegated to babysitting a bunch of intoxicated idiots,”

What is the pleasure anyway of hanging out with drunk people if you are not drunk?

dumbteenth's avatar

@ChazMaz your responses (while I’m tempted to agree!) seem to be under the assumption that it is virtually impossible for us not to drink at a bar and it is our friends responsibility as a non-drinker to ensure our safety. This is the opposite of how I want him to feel. Suggestions to buy him his non-alchy drinks or pay for gas are more along the lines of what I was looking for. Also, responses and insight from non-drinkers who may have been through this themselves.

christos99's avatar

It’s everyone’s responsibility to get home safe. You simply can’t assume just because they don’t drink that they shouldn’t go out or automatically be assigned as the “DD.” Your convenience doesn’t mean it’s convenient for them; it’s a luxury not a cab ride…

And ChazMaz, what if people don’t drink for religious reasons, or have alcoholism in the family, or possibly a family member killed by a drunk driver – don’t judge…

CMaz's avatar

“This is the opposite of how I want him to feel.”

Sorry you feel that way. You will feel worse going to your friends funeral.

“And ChazMaz, what if people don’t drink for religious reasons, or have alcoholism in the family, or possibly a family member killed by a drunk driver – don’t judge…”

I’m not judging. But I wont be ignorant.

Religious people wont hang out with drinkers.
Alcoholics should not be near booze.
And family members that the had friends die from a drinking related accident wont let them drive drunk.

boxer3's avatar

I don’t drink at all….however, I still go out with my friends that do drink.
Like your friend, I’m the only one in a couple different circles of friends that doesnt drink.
When we go out, they never assume I will be the DD, if that were the case it’d probably be frustrating- however I personally feel that if I’m going out with friends I know plan on getting drunk, I tend to offer to drive, mostly
because even if a friend has one or two… I’ve still had none and its not that big of a deal to drive, considering these people are my close friends…sometimes they feel bad and say they don’t mind- I usually insist that if they drove it’d be dumb. sometimes they will drive us into town…..but I drive their cars home instead of mine

Seek's avatar


How many people are we talking here? Three? four? Do you all live in the same apartment complex, or is it a three hour drive added on to the end of my night? Where I live, everyone’s pretty spread out. The last time I gave someone a ride home, I left the bar at 2:30, and didn’t get home until quarter ‘till 5.

You are literally talking about taking something that should be a happy, relaxing experience (hanging out with your friends after work), and turning it into a part time job with no pay.

I do it because it’s my husband and his friends. I hate every minute of it, and I avoid every event I can get out of going to. My husband claims I’m antisocial, but the simple fact is, it’s more work than fun.

The attitude of “Yay, Alyson’s here! Another round, bartender, our driver’s here!” (not that anyone has actually said that, but goddamn…)

It’s not my job to be the only responsible adult in the place.

dumbteenth's avatar

@ChazMaz Except there won’t be a funeral, because I feel I’ve made it clear that none of us drive drunk. That’s sort of the point of the question.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I don’t think asking him if he’d be okay with it once in a while is a bad thing – as long as he is given gas money, or people pay for his drinks/food when you’re out.

That said… If he’s willing to do that for you, all of you should go out sometime, to a different atmosphere (not a bar) and have fun doing something else – that way no one has to feel obligated to be a designated driver, because you’re all having fun doing something else. He’s your friend. He doesn’t drink, but obviously he still wants to spend time with you guys. So I think you guys, because you’re also his friend, should want to spend time doing something with him in a different environment. Cater to him sometimes, especially if he is willing to be the designated driver. It’s the right thing to do.

dumbteenth's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Usually 3 or 4, we all live within about a mile of eachother though frankly, the non drinker is technically the furthest one out from downtown (and everyone else is on the way), if I really wanted another excuse.

CMaz's avatar

“Except there won’t be a funeral, because I feel I’ve made it clear that none of us drive drunk.”

Then there is no need for a DD. Making the question moot.

Seek's avatar

It wouldn’t hurt to call him up and say “Hey, Joe… we’re thinking of catching the game at Rudy’s tonight. If I front you for gas, and buy you those Nachos you like, could you hook Jim and me up with a ride home?”

Then, as long as you don’t rinse and repeat every. single. weekend. he should be happy to do it.

Making it an obligation on his part to make sure everyone gets home… that’s when it becomes work.

dumbteenth's avatar

@ChazMaz Except its not moot because you can still have drinks at a bar and be responsible enough to find a safe way home. People do this all the time.

Austinlad's avatar

@ChazMaz, think I’ll make it a habit to avoid you on the road.

MacBean's avatar

I think anyone who goes out with a group that’s drinking, doesn’t drink, and won’t DD (or complains about it) is a dick and I wouldn’t be friends with them anyway.

Scooby's avatar

Why not just take a taxi? :-/

Austinlad's avatar

@MacBean, not sure anyone said anything about the friend flat-out refusing. The question is, is he responsible for bing the grou’s on-demend DD? I don’t think so. Shouldn’t the group consider his feelings, too? Frankly, this doesn’t sound like a group I’d much enjoy hanging out with.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Just because your friend doesn’t drink doesn’t mean he wants the responsibility of being a DD and he might be avoiding volunteering because then he might feel obligated to do it routinely when you all go out which isn’t fair. IMO.

CMaz's avatar

“you can still have drinks at a bar and be responsible enough to find a safe way home.”

That is called lucky. Not, responsible.

”@ChazMaz, think I’ll make it a habit to avoid you on the road.”
Why is that? I will be the sober one.

dumbteenth's avatar

@ChazMaz Oh for chrissake, you seem to be the only one not getting it so this is going to be my last post to you: I do not condone drinking heavily at a bar and driving home. Me and my friends go out and have a few drinks, except one of us ALWAYS takes turns DDing, and that DD for the night will either stop after one drink or drink nothing at all.

My question is about whether my non-drinking friend should just DD more often than not because while we recognize that sacrificing a night of drinking to be the DD is responsible, it would be nice to not have to worry about it because he does not drink to begin with, thus, no sacrifice is made.

I am interested in hearing the perspective of other people who have been in this situation, or advice on how to propose this idea to my friend without making him feel like he is being taken advantage of. Most answers have been insightful; yours have been full of shit. You suck at Fluther.

Aethelwine's avatar

@dumbteenth Am I missing something here? @ChazMaz agrees with you that your friend would be a jerk for not offering.

Austinlad's avatar

If I were you, I’d sit my friend down and have a good heart-to-heart talk with him. Explain your concerns and ask how he feels. If he’s hesitant to commit himself to fulltime DDing, ask if he’d be willing to be one of a “team” that includes other friends, cabs, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

Lol @ChazMaz sucks at fluther. I love it. Chaz I gave you bunch of GA’s on this thread.

JLeslie's avatar

Let me add that I also am giving a GQ to @dumbteenth.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with asking the guy to be the DD, but don’t give him grief if he says no. Being the DD means getting everyone ready to leave when you want to leave. If they don’t want to leave and the DD does, it could be a problem. If you ask him to do it all the time, he may get tired of it.

Personally, if I’m going out and I’m not drinking, I’ll make sure everyone gets home safely because that’s how I am. If people started assuming they could get completely trashed because they knew I’d take care of it and they stopped appreciating it, I’d stop hanging out with them. I don’t go out drinking without a plan for getting home before I even leave the house though.

Ivan's avatar

The guy’s not going to want to continue hanging out with you if he has to drive every time.

le_inferno's avatar

He should DD if he doesn’t mind doing it. You just need to talk to him about it. Offer to pay for gas. You said you and your friends don’t get too out of control, so I don’t see why your he’d have a problem with it. I don’t think it should be an unspoken expectation. It’s something that needs to be discussed. If he doesn’t want to drive all the time, then you have to respect that.

Scooby's avatar

There’s always the BUS :-/
Isn’t there??

anartist's avatar

I think you should offer an arrangement with your non-drinking friend, as others have mentioned. If it is always the same group of guys, you should rotate for starters [including him]. If you would rather get him to take a few more turns, the group should offer to pick up his tab and/or pay gas. But even then don’t stick him with every weekend. Maybe every 4th weekend group pays his tab and chips in for gas in exchange for his DD service. On his regular rotating night [assuming 4 people rotate] nobody pays it is his turn.
If he doesn’t want to do extra, at least he’s taking his turn.

Scooby's avatar

A lot of the time when I was younger, we would ask our parents to drop us off & pick us up, then it was the girlfriend or wife. We always had a slush fund for a taxi though just in case.. ;-)

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’m with @Seek_Kolinahr . DDing is just chauffeuring, and it has ruined some of my friendships. Since I didn’t drink, I was the DD. It is a thankless, part-time job, except instead of earning money, you’re pissing it away. Plus, as great as DD’s are, when you’re the only one sober, you can see what giant flaming assholes all your friends are when they’re drunk, and you don’t forget the entire night, so you remember how when you were driving their drunk ass home, they spilled your inner-most secrets to strangers, insulted you repeatedly, and stained your backseat. It isn’t just the financial cost – it’s the emotional cost. The gas money and the drinks money helps, but at the end of the night, the best thing is to just not be a bratty d-bag. I don’t DD anymore, because our friendship just cannot take the strain.

nellybar's avatar

Taking it in turns to be the DD seems to be the way forward – that way everyone has a turn at having to drive the pissed guys (and sometimes the sober one).

perspicacious's avatar

I don’t know why he would mind; that’s always my job.

MacBean's avatar

@perspicacious Me, too. I’m completely baffled by the idea that anyone would get tired of being asked to drive their drunk friends home, if they chose to go out with them. And I’m even more baffled by the idea of asking people who want to drink to be DDs when there is someone with them who does not want to drink. Seriously? What?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@MacBean I understand what you are saying, but what if the person that isn’t drinking plans to leave early? Should he then have to stay later because his friends expect him to be their DD? Why must that person have to be the DD just because he is the non-drinker of the group? That’s why they should be discussing it before hand and not just expecting him to be the one that will do it.

MacBean's avatar

@Seaofcloudswhat if the person that isn’t drinking plans to leave early? Should he then have to stay later because his friends expect him to be their DD?

Ah. No. My group works like this: you have three choices—
– you leave when I do
– you arrange your own way home before we go out
– I trade you your keys for cab fare home and you get your keys back when I get my money back

I highly recommend this system. Works beautifully! :D

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I used to be the DD because I had the roomiest vehicle and could fit our regular group in. At first, I didn’t oppose, but after awhile it became a bit of a burden. I wasn’t making much money, and the SUV even in those days, cost $ to get people back home throughout the city. More importantly, I’m an early-to-bed girl and would have preferred to leave when I was ready vs. waiting for the “just one more round” to be over.

It would have been nice if someone had asked to take a turn. Then again, I was the one who didn’t speak up. Take our other Jellies’ advice and ask your friend at an appropriate moment how they feel about the situation.

stardust's avatar

Well, this has been an interesting read. It’s not your friends responsibility to give you lifts after a night out.
I think asking him to do this on a regular basis is a bad idea. It’s possible he’ll become resentful.
I think @Seek_Kolinahr and @Austinlad as well as many others have made very good suggestions.
Talk to your friend. See how he feels about it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@MacBean Sounds like a great system.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

You should just ask your friend if he minds being the DD. Asking him nicely won’t hurt.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I could see not wanting to get stuck driving a bunch of drunk people home at all hours. If you’re not the DD, you can leave whenever you want.

DDAA's avatar

I am in AA and have friends who drink. As long as I am asked, I usually don’t mind driving. I would really rather do that than bail them out of jail @ 3 am. However, I would like to be asked. If I have other places to go sooner or need to leave because I feel I’m uncomfortable I’d like to be able to do that without leaving people hanging. I would even help you with alternate transportation arrangements. Give that friend the kind of respect you like to be given with the tables turned. Bottom line: Ask, don’t expect.

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