designated-driver-reward-gas-cardThe designated driver is one of the heroes of our age. They might not look like X-Men, but these fine people save thousands of lives each year by helping friends avoid a dangerously bad decision.

Their rewards are few – a slurred “Thanks, man” or a pat on the shoulder. Don’t they deserve more for preventing an unbelievable amount of carnage?

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department thinks so. So police in Tucson set up a DUI checkpoint to watch for drunk drivers. Since school is starting, students are on the move, which means there’s a likelihood of impaired young people on the road. Whenever the police found a sober driver and tipsy passengers, the driver got a $25 gas card. All they needed to do was blow a zero on the breathalyzer.

Will this gesture end drunk driving in Tucson? Probably not. But it will give the designated drivers pause, and give them a sense that they really are of value to their peers and their pima-county-sheriffs-deptcommunity. And that suggests that they’ll continue being designated drivers.

Bravo to Tucson and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department publicizing the great work that designated drivers do. For once, they get a bit of the glory they deserve. And their passengers get a safe ride home. It works for everybody.

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