Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Awarded Research Cooperative Agreement to Prevent Unintentional Injuries

Effectiveness of Designated Driver Programs

FOA Number: CE05-024 - Community-based interventions for alcohol-impaired driving
Project Period: 9/30/05-9/29/08
Application/Grant Number: 1-U49-CE000698-01
Principal Investigator: Frederick Rivara, MPH, MD
University of Washington
Harborview Injury Prevention & Research
Box 359960
325 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98112


Twenty-one to thirty-four year olds have the highest rate of alcohol-impaired driving—the majority of which is done in retail establishments. While designated driver and safe ride home programs have been widely used across the country and in other parts of the world, no evaluation of their impact on citations, crashes, injuries and fatalities has been reported. This study will explore the usefulness of these measures.

Researchers will conduct an intervention to include a number of components: a broad public education campaign that will target 21-34 year olds with designated driver or safe rides home when out drinking in bars messages; a focused behavior change intervention in bars in four target neighborhoods; resources to support the desired behavior change.
The outcome measures chosen are based on the investigators’ prior work in the field, and consists of a random-digit-dialing (RDD) survey, a survey of bar patrons, an examination of administrative data on drunk driving citations, motor vehicle crashes, motor vehicle crash-related injuries and fatalities, and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of injured individuals. The data from the intervention communities will be examined over time and compared to two control communities in different cities. The project will also examine many process measures to assess the degree to which the program has been implemented and used. Study findings will be widely disseminated, which will increase the effectiveness of interventions to reduce the number of alcohol-impaired driving in this high-risk age group.