Sober drivers get free coke in New Zealand

"Designated drivers are the true unsung heroes on our roads," says Ms Pillay.
"Designated drivers are the true unsung heroes on our roads," says Ms Pillay. Photo credit: Coca-Cola Oceania

Kiwi drivers are being encouraged to shift from alcohol to coke this summer, after Coca-Cola announced it will pick up the tab for sober drivers.

Drink driving is one of the biggest killers on New Zealand's roads. In the Waikato alone, the Ministry of Transport calculates alcohol contributes to 27 percent of road crash deaths.

Nearly 200 restaurants and bars around New Zealand have signed up as part of the promotion.

Under the plan, which started on Wednesday and runs until February, designated drivers can text 'driver' to 345. In return, they will be given three coupons for free Coca-Cola drinks.

"We want to encourage people to get out and about this summer with their friends and family, while reinforcing the importance of having a safe ride home," says Sandhya Pillay, Coca-Cola Oceania country manager.

"The Coca-Cola Designated Driver programme helps to remove the perception that if you don't have an alcoholic beverage you can't join in on the fun."

The promotion is supported by Waikato Regional Council, Hospitality NZ and Auckland Transport.

"Designated drivers are the true unsung heroes on our roads and we're grateful to have the support and endorsement of our partners to help spread this positive message even further," Ms Pillay says.

Newshub.