A great part of recovery is being able to be safe and careful when it comes to driving under the influence. If you can handle being around drinking and parties – this is different for everyone – then you can provide an immeasurable help to friends and loved ones who have a few too many drinks. Being the DD will keep your group safe and responsible, and you can be proud for contributing to that.

1. You’ll help save lives.

Every single day, almost 30 people die in the United States from a car accident involving a drunk driver, the CDC says. People who agree to DD are doing an incredible service to friends, loved ones, and even complete strangers. When you’re the DD, everyone – including yourself – will make it home nice and safely. Drunk driving is all too common nowadays, so stepping in and lending a hand to prevent tragedy will go a long way to help this serious problem.

2. You’ll be a really great friend.

When you step in for friends who have drank too many mojitos, you’re showing an unforgettable type of care and compassion for that other person. You’ll be thanked incessantly and friendships will actually strengthen because of your help.

3. You’ll feel great the next day.

Not only will you feel great for helping your friends get home safely, acting responsibly, and being smart, but you’ll also feel great waking up without a hangover. The next day will be bright and cheery, full of possibilities – and we can’t really say the same for those who wake up with a pounding headache and nausea.

4. Your body will thank you.

The long-term effects of abstaining from alcohol are tenfold. You can keep your body healthy and avoid a slew of issues all linked to drinking heavily. You can help avoid alcohol-related high blood pressure, liver inflammation, weakened immune system, and even cancer. You’ll also avoid getting into alcohol-induced fights or engage in risky behaviors that you normally wouldn’t engage in without the help of a drink or two. You’ll make better choices and live a healthier life without the presence of alcohol.

5. You’ll be in good company.

You might think you’re the only sober person at the party, but research shows us that isn’t exactly the case. We grossly overestimate the amount of people getting hammered and imbibing at parties, as well as overestimate the actual amount that other people are drinking. People have this misconception – especially when they’re the sober ones – that everybody around them is drinking. But studies show that isn’t actually the case. Find some fellow DDs – you’re likely to be surprised of how many there are. You can also order a red ribbon for your car through MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) to alert people that there’s a designated driver behind the wheel.

6. Nobody cares if you’re not drinking

Another misconception is that if you’re not drinking, everybody is going to care or think it’s weird. But people are so concerned with themselves that this is honestly not an issue. Plus, if somebody does care that you’re not drinking, does it really matter? If you feel compelled to, club soda with a splash of cranberry looks no different than the same drink plus some vodka. Furthermore, if the folks you’re with care if you’re drinking or not, you may need to evaluate those buddies.

7. You’ll save money and calories

Cocktails can be $10 each, plus tip, and the rounds you buy for friends can really start to add up. Plus, if you’re caught behind the wheel drunk, your insurance rates will skyrocket, not to mention the cost of a DUI. On top of that, drinks are full of empty calories. So your sobriety will not only save you tons of money, but it will also save you from packing on the pounds from sugary drinks and the high caloric content in alcohol.

8. You’ll have just as much fun.

That relaxed, increased of confidence feeling most people cite to alcohol actually only happens if you have about one drink an hour – which most people don’t limit themselves to. After that, with more drinking in less time, the negative effects of alcohol begin to shine through. If you’re going to a party without drinking, just expecting to have a good time being there with friends, you’re much better off.

9. Or maybe you’ll even have more fun.

Avoiding rowdy bar behavior, arrests, or other drinking-related trouble is definitely going to lead to a better night. You can have a much better time – without the risk of trouble – by staying away from alcohol. You’ll enjoy what’s going on at the party and you’ll remember the evening – surely a recipe for a better time.