Author(s): DeJong W, Wallack L
Abstract Share this page
Abstract We review the "designated driver" concept and the current debate over its role in preventing alcohol-impaired driving. In our view, the focus on this strategy by broadcasters, the alcohol industry, and various public service groups has deflected attention from other alcohol-related problems that account for the vast majority of deaths and injuries associated with alcohol use. This focus has also distracted many public health advocates and policymakers from the bigger and more important jobs of increasing public awareness of the social, environmental, and economic factors that influence alcohol consumption and promoting debate on legislation and other public policy solutions to alcohol-impaired driving. As part of a comprehensive strategy, we strongly encourage a renewed focus on "sobriety checkpoints," strict enforcement of laws against alcohol sales to minors, alcohol advertising reform, increased excise taxes, and other public policy initiatives supported by the Surgeon General. These measures will curb underage and heavy alcohol consumption and will create a legal and social environment in which individuals are motivated to avoid impaired driving through several alternative strategies, including but not limited to the use of designated drivers.
This article was published in Health Educ Q
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics