Designated drivers drink for free

Whitney Sager

Designated drivers and sober friends can drink for free. Drink soda, that is.

The Sodas 4 Sobers project, started by GSB members, encourages bars in Ames to serve soda for free to designated drivers and sober friends.

Students out celebrating VEISHEA this weekend can take advantage of the program, as it is up and running.

The purpose of the program is to promote safer drinking habits among ISU students.

Jordan Lass, former GSB chief of staff and sophomore in history, said the program creates a “win-win” situation.

“It encourages people to have that sober friend and helps the bars attract more people,” Lass said.

The idea for the program came from CHEERS, a program at the University of Missouri that offers free soft drinks to designated drivers. Former GSB member, Jacob Wilson, heard of this program and proposed a similar one be created at Iowa State.

GSB members had several goals in mind when they were working on the project:

• Publicize the idea of having a sober friend

• Help students get home safely

• Decrease the number of students getting charged for alcohol related issues

• Educate students

• Make Iowa State a safer place

• Complete the project

Nate Dobbels, GSB speaker of the senate and senior in agricultural and life sciences education, said the project offers many benefits to students.

“The benefits are very clear in my mind-students learn to have a sober friend, we look out for each other, the soft drinks are free for sober friends, and the [ISU] campus is changed for the better,” Dobbels said.

Lass said some projects started by GSB unfortunately do not see completion, and they did not want the Sodas 4 Sobers program to be one of those.

“We’re very excited about the program,” Lass said.

So far, nine bars have agreed to participate in the program, all of which are located in Campustown.

Lass said he was surprised at the number of bars that were willing to participate in the program and hopes that more join in the future.

“Talking with the owners of the bars, they were very receptive of it,” Lass said.

Posters announcing the program will be located in each of the participating bars.

“We can’t stop people from drinking, but we can make sure they are taking part in these activities in a safe and appropriate manner,” Dobbels said. “We need to look out for our fellow students and although this is not the only answer, it is a great step in the right direction.”