Designated drivers get special, alcohol-free drinks for free at participating bars

While St. Patrick's Day, a holiday known for its spirited spirits, is next Monday, there is no doubt some party people will start tossing back a few rounds this weekend -- or sooner. If you plan to be among them, please don't drink and drive. For those of you who plan to be the designated driver, do know that the state of California considers you a very important person and says you should be treated as such. Since 2012, the California Office of Traffic Safety has been featuring monthly non-alcoholic drink beverages targeting sober drivers. The so-called "DDrinks" are said to be tastier, more interesting alternatives to plain old soft drinks or water as they are made with ingredients such as ginger beer syrup, fruits, basil and whipped cream. The agency is working with bars statewide to offer these drinks for free to "Designated Driver VIPs" or DDVIPs. Find the DDrink-friendly establishments by typing in your zip code at "We are grateful to all of the bars and restaurants that have committed to becoming DDVIP partners and offer DDrinks and special incentives to designated sober drivers," said Russia Chavis, acting director over the Office of Traffic Safety . "Designated sober drivers are often the unsung heroes in our communities and our DDrink program is our way of thanking them for saving lives and helping to keep our roadways safe." Meanwhile, DDrink recipes can be found on the agency's Facebook page, at The DDrink program also can be followed on Twitter @DDvipCA. This month's drink, is the Lemon Cucumber Cooler. It contains, four slices of fresh cucumber, tonic water, 1/4 of a lemon, 0.5 oz lemon basil simple syrup, ice, mint sprigs and shaved cucumber ribbons for garnish. Grab a shaker and fill with the cucumber, lemon juice, syrup and ice. After shaking for a few moments, add ice and tonic, and top with mint sprigs and cucumber ribbons. Auctions support cycling campaigns CalBike has an eBay store that auctions off cycling 'schwag' to support its many programs, including the Better Bikeways campaign, which encourages cities and simplifies the process to build more modern and accessible bikeways statewide, and the Give Me 3 effort to spread the word to drivers that they must pass bike riders at a safe distance of three feet. Find CalBike's items by searching for #CalBike on Ebay. New items are posted regularly. At the time this column was filed, bike chain picture frames were up for grabs until 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 11.
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