Being the designated driver on a night out can feel like a burden, but it can also be hugely positive. For the third year in a row, Coca-Cola is looking to reward the friends who take one for the team this summer.

Launched in 2016, this year’s Designated Driver programme will see almost 400 bars and restaurants across the country give up to three free non-alcoholic drinks to people doing the driving.

“We launched this programme to show gratitude to people who take on the responsibility of being the Designated Driver so their friends get home safely. We think designated drivers should be rewarded for looking after their mates,” said Richard Schlasberg, country manager at Coca-Cola Oceania.

Richard Schlasberg, Coca-Cola Oceania country manager, gearing up for the Designated Driver programme this year.

Hospitality New Zealand and Waikato Regional Council are taking part in the programme for another year, and this year the New Zealand Automobile Association (NZAA) has also come on board in support.

"The AA is passionate about safe roads, safe cars and safe drivers. The Coca-Cola Designated Driver Programme is particularly timely during the festive season when people are celebrating across the country,” said Kiri Coughlan, corporate relations manager at New Zealand Automobile Association.  

Hospitality New Zealand and Waikato Regional Council will once again take part in the programme to promote road safety and reward the unsung heroes in their region.

If you’re a designated driver this summer, text ‘driver’ to 345 to get three coupons for a Coca-Cola drink of your choice.

For a full list of participating bars and restaurants go to: