Designated driver promotion programs

Programs to encourage use of designated drivers can be population-based campaigns that use mass media and other channels to promote designated driver use or incentive programs based in drinking establishments. Incentive programs offer free items (e.g., drinks or food) to encourage customers to act as designated drivers (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Commercial for-profit or non-profit transportation services can also provide designated drivers who drive intoxicated individuals home in their own car (NDDDS).

Expected Beneficial Outcomes (Rated)

  • Reduced impaired driving

Other Potential Beneficial Outcomes

  • Reduced fatal and non-fatal injuries

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether population-based or incentive-based designated driver promotion programs reduce alcohol-impaired driving (CG-Motor vehicle injury). Available evidence suggests that such promotion programs may increase the number of designated drivers (CG-Motor vehicle injury), however, only a minority of designated drivers appear to abstain from drinking entirely (IAS-Anderson 2006). A South Korea-based study suggests that alcohol-related traffic fatalities decrease as availability of commercial designated driver programs increases (). Researchers suggest that such programs be implemented along with other efforts to reduce alcohol-impaired driving (NHTSA-Decina 2009). Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.

Impact on Disparities

No impact on disparities likely

Implementation Examples

As of July 2015, 45 states and Washington, DC have commercial or non-profit designated driver services (NDDDS).

Implementation Resources

NHTSA-Designated Driver - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A guide to developing a community-based designated driver program.

NDDDS - National directory of designated driver services (NDDDS).

Citations - Evidence

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CG-Motor vehicle injury - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Motor vehicle injury prevention.

IAS-Anderson 2006 - Anderson P, Baumberg B. Alcohol in Europe: A public health perspective. London, UK: Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS); 2006.

NHTSA-Decina 2009 - Decina LE, Foss R, Tucker ME, Goodwin A, Sohn J. Alternative transportation programs: A countermeasure for reducing impaired driving. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; 2009.

Chung 2014* - Chung J, Joo HH, Moon S. Designated driver service availability and its effects on drunk driving behaviors. The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. 2014;14(4):1543-1567.

Citations - Implementation Examples

* Journal subscription may be required for access.

NDDDS - National directory of designated driver services (NDDDS).

Date Last Updated

Jul 27, 2015