Drunk Driving Can Be Stopped

Designated drivers have probably saved nearly 50,000 lives and spared many more thousands of people from suffering injury from drunk driving. 1 Over nine out of 10 Americans who attend social events where alcohol is served would like to see designated drivers used. And the proportion of people using or being a designated driver has increased dramatically over time. 2 Each year over 73,000,000 Americans either serve as a designated driver or are driven home by one. 3

A designated driver is simply a person who agrees to abstain from alcohol and be responsible for driving others home. The others are free to drink or not as they choose. 4 Many establishments provide free non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers.

A Great Idea

A designated driver helps friends and family

Advantages to the designated driver concept:

Tips for designated drivers:


In addition to being or using a designated driver, you can save lives by taking car keys from intoxicated people to prevent them from being drunk drivers.

Here are some helpful hints on how to get the keys from a drunk person about to drive:

Report Drunk Drivers

If you see a driver doing these things, report the car along with its description and location, to the police or sheriff. The driver may be ill or intoxicated and shouldn't be on the road. Signs of drunk driving may include:

You really can make a difference!

Although thousands of lives are saved each year by both designated drivers and those who don't let friends or others drive drunk, many more are needlessly lost. Each such death is a tragedy affecting many others who are left suffering and grieving. Be a designated driver . . . be a hero.


  • 1. Associated Press, "Designated Driver Campaign Working," Houston Chronicle, 11-30-97, p. A14.
  • 2. Gallup polls reported in National Commission Against Drunk Driving. A Guide to CommunityBased Designated Driver Programs (www.ncadd.com/designated/designated1.html/    [6-23-00]).
  • 3. Designated Driver Campaign Working, Says Inventor (www.ndsn.org/JAN98/ALCOHOL1.html/    [6-23-00]).
  • 4. U.S. Department of Transportation. A Guide to Developing a Community-Based Designated Driver Program(www.ncadd.com/designated/designated2.html/    [6-23-00])
  • 5. Project CHEERS to the Designated Driver (http://web.missouri.edu/~adaptwww/CHEERS1.html/    [6-23-00]).
  • 6. National Commission Against Drunk Driving. A Guide to Community-Based Designated Driver Programs (www.ncadd.com/designated/designated1.html).
  • 7. Alberta Transportation & Utilities. Designated Driver A Smart Choice. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: 1996 (www.ama.ab.ca/trafsafe/thkf_des.htm/    [6-23-00]).
  • 8. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Get the Keys: How You Can Intervene. (www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/innocent/index.html/    [6-23-00])

Readings (Listing does not imply endorsement)

  • National Commission Against Drunk Driving and Harvard Alcohol Project, Center for Health Communication of Harvard School of Public Health. A Guide to Community-Based Designated Driver Programs.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Guide to Developing a Community-Based Designated Driver Program. U.S. Department of Transportation.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving

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