Britanni Vanvolkenburg and fiancé Blake Villeneuve drove Red Deerians home on New Year’s Eve. Photo contributed

Designated driver: Red Deer woman drives people on New Year’s Eve to make sure they make it home safe

One young Red Deer couple decided to skip the celebration and help drivers get home safe New Year’s Eve – a night that often involves drinking.

Britanni Vanvolkenburg and fiancé Blake Villeneuve drove six people home in Red Deer from various bars and restaurants in the city for a suggested donation ($10 within city limits).

The duo originally planned to go skating, but decided to skip that and ensure Red Deerians make it home safe after a night of partying. Vanvolkenburg posted the idea on Facebook, following which, people who wanted to be driven home, got in touch with her.

Vanvolkenburg said she is originally from Ontario’s Belleville area, “and the amount of drunk drivers that drive around there is simply insane.”

Red Deer wasn’t any different on New Year’s Eve.

From what Vanvolkenburg saw, there were a lot of young people running across the road when it wasn’t there turn, cars pulled over and raided.

“Kids being arrested, drunk people everywhere, cabs were busy and tons of people walking everywhere in the cold rain.”

The 22-year-old woman said she also saw police cars and officers on the streets.

“There was tons of cops out, mainly in the car parking lots scouting to see if people were drinking and driving, but I saw more than one person drive away after coming out of the bar,” she added.

She drove Red Deerians around until 4 a.m.

“I feel amazing about the whole experience knowing people have gotten home rather than someone planning a funeral in the worst way especially on a crazy night like New Year’s Eve.”

Being a designated driver for the night is something the 22-year-old has done in the past with family and friends back home. So she wanted to try it in Red Deer.

The young mom also wanted to do something for the community to set an example for her two-year-old son.

Two out of the six people made a donation. Vanvolkenburg said she plans to use the money to help people who are homeless.

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