Ask Zephyr: Being the Designated Driver is Ruining My Party Plans!

Ask Zephyr cat microscope

It’s time for another instalment of our Ask Zephyr series, where we put your driving dilemmas to the surprisingly well-informed PassMeFast office cat. We were lucky to get an audience with the clever kitty this month, as this is one of his favourite times of the year! There are Christmas trees to pull down, fairy lights to fixate on and presents to prematurely unwrap (read: rip to shreds—it’s a good job he’s cute!).

Sit down he did, though, just long enough to offer some sterling advice to one of our readers. This one’s a Christmas conundrum to which many of us can relate: to drink or to drive? Is it possible to do a bit of both? Will you still get invited to the best parties if you force your friends to take a taxi? Find out all this and more below!

*Note: Zephyr’s opinions are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of PassMeFast. His advice is bang on though. 

Dear Zephyr,
I’m the only one of my friends with a licence and as party season approaches it seems that I’m expected to be the designated driver for all of December! How can I stay safe behind the wheel without missing out on the festive fun?
— Soon-to-be-Scrooge, Dartford.


This is a question I’m eager to answer as the holiday season gets into full swing. At this time of year, rates of drink-driving start to skyrocket, which is really bad news for anyone using the road. Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous because it affects your judgement and increases reaction times. Even enjoying one cheeky drink before driving home is simply not worth the risk to yourself and others. ‘Tis indeed the season to be jolly, but there are plenty of ways to get merry and stay sober! Indulge in some sugary treats, peruse the Christmas markets or hit the dance floor and throw some shapes to your favourite holiday tunes!

Zephyr the cat stretching on floor
Everyone deserves the chance to let loose during the holiday season!

I’m partial to the ol’ catnip myself (if you’re listening, Santa, feel free to drop some in my stocking!) but I know not to partake on the days I have to operate heavy machinery (my mouse traps are rather elaborate). So, Soon-to-be-Scrooge, on the days you’ve agreed to be the designated driver, you should avoid any mind-altering substances altogether. As I’ve explained, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun—just avoid fun of the alcoholic variety. This is definitely tricky at this time of the year. On the occasions where you do slip up, there’s no need to panic, but you will have to leave your car where it is and pick it up the next day. It’s always better to play it safe!

And, finally, don’t let your friends take advantage! It’s OK for them to ask you to drive to a couple of events (as long as you don’t mind), but the idea that you’ll be the designated driver all December long seems a tad unfair. If you’re really not happy with this arrangement, tell them! Real friends will understand and split the cost of a taxi with you. Driving is meant to be fun, remember, not a chore!

I hope this clears things up, No-need-to-be-Scrooge, and enables you to have lots of festive fun without drinking and driving! As for the rest of you, Merry Christmas (or whatever you happen to be celebrating) ya filthy animals!

Zephyr’s top tips: Being the designated driver

Cartoon red car with woman driving attached to car key

  • Find an alcohol-free alternative to your favourite festive tipple that still feels like a treat.
  • If you end up shuttling lots of people back and forth, make sure they contribute petrol funds.
  • Take advantage of the special offers available for designated drivers. Some venues offer free drinks to those with the car keys.
  • Put your foot down so that you’re not lumped with the designated driver role at every social event
  • Bask in the smugness of waking up hangover-free!

Oh, he is good, isn’t he?! Someone just earned double tummy tickles this weekend! If you missed the first dilemma of the series, be sure to check out Zephyr’s advice on how to deal with cyclists. We’ll be back in the New Year with a whole host of fresh driving dilemmas. Until then, you can keep up to date with our favourite feline over on Instagram @zephyrcurl.

Got a driving-related query that requires some whiskered wisdom? Leave it in the comment section below and Zephyr may answer it in a future post!

By Zephyr the cat

Zephyr is the PassMeFast office cat—cute as a button and wise beyond his years. Curiosity certainly didn’t harm this feline, it just made him a fountain of driving knowledge! When not dishing out sterling automobile advice, you’ll find him taking a well-earned nap or chasing balls of tin foil.

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