If you are heading out for a night of partying with your friends, the first steps to an enjoyable evening happen long before you head out the door. You may be old enough to toss a few back and let loose, but you are never old enough to drive while under the influence.

Choosing a designated driver is first and foremost about keeping everyone on the road safe, but it is also about keeping your record clear. A criminal charge or conviction for DUI can directly affect your future. We have a few tips to help you when you are picking out a designated driver, as studies show that many DDs end up driving under the influence anyway.

Rotating responsibilities with friends

Unless you have a friend who does not drink, you will probably need a new designated driver each time you go out. It is not fair to use the same driver every time, and certain people end up doing it more often, they may be less trustworthy as they feel they never have a chance to let loose. Set up a fair rotation and ensure that everyone is taking their turn to get you all home safely.

Choose trustworthy people

Do you have a buddy who cannot resist the temptation of alcohol, or one who overestimates his ability to hold his alcohol? If so, this person may not be the most reliable designated driver to choose. You need to choose someone you trust to stay away from the alcohol, and also someone you can rely on to show up when he is supposed to.

Hire one if you need to

If you do not feel as if any of your friends will be able to stay sober for an evening out, always hire a designated driver, or call a cab or ride sharing program. Never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you have been drinking. Protect your life and those around you, along with your future by choosing a solid designated driver.