Drink-driving

Pubs tackle drink-driving with free soft drinks and bus rides

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Safer Christmas: the Venga bus is coming
Safer Christmas: the Venga bus is coming

Related tags: Free soft drinks, North somerset, Alcoholic beverage

Pubs are backing the safer drinking message and helping to crack down on drink-driving during the festive period.

The Jubilee Inn at West Anstey, Devon, is offering anyone who is a designated driver of a group a selection of free non-alcoholic drinks throughout December. 

The pub is backing the Coca-Cola designated driver campaign, which rewards consumers for not drinking and driving by offering a free second drink when they purchase a drink from the Coca-Cola range, Schweppes sparkling juice drinks and Appletiser. All other draft, non-bottled soft drinks will be complimentary for drivers.

Claire Sellar-Elliott, co-owner of the country inn, said: “If you’re coming to us for a Christmas meal with a group of four or more and you’re the designated driver, you can choose from a selection of free draft soft drinks.

“Designated drivers are the unsung heroes of the party season and can claim their free soft drinks by simply showing their keys at our bar.

“We’re rewarding people who volunteer to do the driving during the festive period, while abstaining from alcohol. It is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those people who help their friends and family get home safely during the festivities.”

Meanwhile, the White Hart in Weston-in-Gordano, north Somerset, is backing the campaign against drink-driving by offering revellers a free bus ride during December.

Mike Yeatman, who co-owns the pub and restaurant, which also includes a patisserie, with his wife Chris, said: “We’re keen to back the Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s annual Christmas and new year drink and drug driving road safety campaign, Operation Tonic, and is laying on a complimentary minibus for our customers to ensure they get home safely after spending time here at the pub or in our restaurant.

“The service, which offers local lifts back to central Portishead and Clevedon, is also available to customers at our tapas bar and restaurant, Venga in Portishead, and we’ve called it the Venga bus, which people love.”

This is the second year that the pub has run the scheme. In 2015, many customers offered to make a donation to charity in return for the free ride.

“We thought this was a great idea so, this year, anyone who has a trip in our minibus can, if they wish, make a donation of any size to our chosen Christmas charity Changes Bristol,” said Yeatman.

The couple took on and renovated the White Hart in 2015 after it had been closed for two years.

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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