Pub-goers in the city who are used to having one drink too many will soon have to give up their seat behind the wheel while driving back home. The position will be taken over by valet drivers, who would have the responsibility to drop the inebriated home safely.

The move, aimed at tackling drunk driving, is the outcome of a recent meeting held between the Transport Department and pubs and restaurants in the city.

Speaking on the sidelines of a seminar on ‘Road safety' organised by the Consumers Association of India here on Saturday, Transport Commissioner M. Rajaram said that the department had made an appeal to representatives of pubs and restaurants in the city to “not allow people who are drunk to drive.”

He said that the proposal has been unanimously accepted and all the representatives had given an assurance to hire valet drivers.

Sarah Stephanos, associate director, public relations, The Park, said that quite a few restaurants in the city already had such an arrangement and “the meeting served to reinforce our existing ad hoc policy.”

She said that since in most pubs “repeat clientele is very high,” bartenders know when a person drinks beyond the limit.

“Offering a safe drop home for our guests is a responsibility,” she said.

Places such as the Zara Tapas Bar even have something called the ‘Designated driver' programme. Arasu Dennis, manager of the bar, said that one person in a group could take up the responsibility to drive on the way back.

“That person will be given a badge and won't be served alcohol that night. But, he will get a reward coupon and will be eligible for free drinks during the next visit. A lot of people take turns and the campaign has been successful,” he added.

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