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South Wales Police relaunch Christmas designated driver scheme

11 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Image: South Wales Police.

Designated drivers can enjoy soft drinks for free over the festive period as South Wales Police teams up with 29 pubs to promote responsible drinking and road safety.

Ahead of the busy Christmas period selected licensed premises will offer free draught soft drinks to designated drivers as part of the returning scheme.

A designated driver is someone who abstains from drinking alcohol to act as the responsible driver. The aim of the scheme is to promote responsible drinking with road safety in mind.

The Holiday Inn Hotel Cardiff was one of the first premises to sign up to the new scheme, which included The Philharmonic, Brewhouse and Revolution among many others across Cardiff and the wider force.

I’m Des

Claire Dewhurst South Wales Police licensing Officer said: “‘I am really pleased to have launched I’m DES’ (Designated Driver) Scheme for the second year in a row.

“The scheme would run with customer’s making themselves known to bar staff as ‘DES’ then they are given a wrist band and given free draught soft drinks/squash.

“The scheme has already proved to be really successful. We are encouraging everyone to participate especially during this festive period when everyone is out enjoying themselves.

“We all know it can sometimes be a burden being the designated driver but we are hopeful that this scheme will encourage more people to be aware of drink driving and the importance of being safe on the roads.

“So many premises are on board to support this worthwhile initiative. DES is not just for Christmas! Be a hero! Be a DES! And if you are a Licensed premise and would like to join the scheme then please contact your local licensing team.

“We are delighted to be a part of this innovative scheme set up by South Wales Police. We want to ensure our customers have the most enjoyable time this Christmas while also being responsible, and this scheme certainly helps that.”


The DES scheme was included as part of a partnership group within Cardiff – Cardiff Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) and has won a national award for its work in educating 18-25 year olds about the risks of excessive drinking.

The partnership was praised for the work it has done to engage 18-25 years olds in Cardiff.

The full list of licensed premises signed up to the scheme can be found below:

  • The Philharmonic, 76-77 St Mary Street, Cardiff
  • Brew Monster Tap House, 31 High Street, Cardiff
  • Revolution, 9-11 Castle St, Cardiff
  • Retro, 7 Mill Lane, Cardiff
  • Brewhouse, Brewery ¼, Cardiff
  • The Bluebell, 33 High Street, Cardiff
  • The Daffodil, 33 Windsor Place, Cardiff
  • The Dock, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay
  • The Park, Barry
  • The Admiral, Canton
  • The Cottage, Cardiff
  • The Cornwall, Grangetown
  • The Bute Arms, Aberdare
  • The Royal Exchange, Llandaff North
  • Metros Nightclubs, 10 Bakers Row, Cardiff
  • Misfits, 7 Miskin Street, Cathays, Cardiff
  • The Royal George, 1-5 Mackintosh Place, Cardiff
  • Clayton Hotels, St.Mary Street, Cardiff
  • Holiday Inn, Castle Street, Cardiff
  • Parkinn Hotel, Mary Ann Street, Cardiff
  • The White Hart, Wine Street, Llantwit Major
  • Tudor Tavern, 14 Church Street, Llantwit Major
  • Llantwit Major RFC, Boverton Road, Llantwit Major
  • The Kings Head, East Street, Llantwit Major
  • The Old Swan Inn, Church Street, Llantwit Major
  • The Boverton Castle, Boverton Road, Llantwit Major
  • Tramshed, Pendyris Street, Cardiff
  • Cardiff Marriott Hotel, Mill Lane, Cardiff

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