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Why I love being the designated driver

By  Monty Dimond

This piece is brought to you by AAMI but is 100% my own story and words. Promise.

Remember getting your very first car? Nothing in my whole life has given me the same feeling of freedom like the day I got my license. Bunny hopping across town in my manual maroon 1991 model Hyundai Excel was such a new and amazing feeling.

Even though I was only 18 years old, I felt like a bona fide adult who could go anywhere my li'l heart desired. I had my glove box stacked with my mixed CDs and I literally wanted to just cruise EVERYWHERE all day long!

I was the first one out of all my mates to get my licence and to have my own wheels, so I was always the designated driver. It might sound like a drag to some but I relished this role. Every Friday and Saturday night I would end up with a carload of broads who would want to cruise through the Macca's drive through on the way home from a dirty disco. Not only would they all chip in for petrol but they always shouted me a McChicken meal as well. As an 18-year-old working for 15 bucks an hour, every extra cent for petrol and free nuggets (with sweet and sour sauce) went a long way.

I have never been much of a partier so being behind the wheel suited me fine. Back in the day I'd have one Bacardi Breezer and my head would spin (but not in a good way) and that is pretty much where my drinking career started and finished.

I still find myself at shindigs sipping on mineral water and the people around me questioning why there is a lack of liquor in my cup. The truth is I am a HOOT with or without booze, so it always surprises me that other people take such offence to my lack of drinking interest.

Now that I am a mum of two boys, I often wonder when they grow up if they will be the designated driver or the party cat throwing back raspberry UDLs and loving the head spin. Oh, how I hope they follow in their good old mum's footsteps because even now that I am in my mid 30s, on those (very) rare occasions I hit the town (and by town I mean a 6pm dinner out of my house) I'm still the one behind the wheel. Just now, there are less people chipping in for my petrol and I have to cough up my own coins for the nuggets. But, I still know how to party – just mine doesn't involve a wretched hangover.

Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) is a trauma prevention program aimed at young people aged 15-25.

P.A.R.T.Y is based on the understanding that 90% of all injuries are both predictable and preventable. It’s about learning through a vivid and emotional experience from real people and their very real experiences.

It seeks to give participants a snapshot of the possible traumatic and often preventable consequences of risk-related behaviour that can lead to traumatic injury. P.A.R.T.Y. participants spend time with staff in the Emergency & Trauma Centre, the Intensive Care Unit, Trauma Wards, and Rehab units of the hospital getting an up-front, true-to-life experience of the impact of trauma on young lives.

This P.A.R.T.Y. is about experiencing what happens when young people make a decision that changes their life forever.

Learn more about how AAMI supports the community.

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI) trading as AAMI. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.