The Designated Driver Program

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As members of law enforcement, we see all to often the tragic effects impaired driving has on each of our communities.  Lives are taken in drunk driving crashes that could have easily been prevented.  The Designated Driver Program is a voluntary program in Plymouth County.
It is a cooperative effort between the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, the local Police Chiefs, and the licensed alcohol servers across Plymouth County.


Designated Driver Communities

The Designated Driver Program has been established in the following communities.  The Designated Driver program is not meant to endorse any underage drinking and is not to be used for minors.

  • Hingham
  • Marshfield
  • Norwell
  • Rockland
  • Scituate

About the Program

The program, which began in Hingham, MA is designed to raise awareness to the problem of drinking and driving.  It is a cooperative effort aimed at reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road, which will effectively reduce preventable deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving.  The program promotes a continuous dialogue between local establishments, the local police department and the District Attorney’s Office.


What is a Designated Driver?

A Designated Driver is a person, who at the beginning of the night, agrees not to drink any alcoholic beverages during their evening out.  It does not mean choosing the “most sober” or the “least drunk” at the end of the night to be designated to drive.  The Designated Driver accepts the responsibility to ensure that the other members in their party, especially those who are impaired, are transported home safely.


How the Program Works

Participation is voluntary and controlled by the private business.  The program is easy to implement.   Each business agrees to provide free non-alcoholic beverages to patrons who identify themselves as the Designated Driver to their server.  They must be in a party of at least two people and not consume any alcoholic drinks that evening.  If the Designated Driver orders an alcoholic beverage, or is seen consuming an alcoholic beverage, the Designated Driver status is revoked and the non-alcoholic beverages previously served will be charged at the full price.


Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, “An average of one alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 53 minutes in 2014.”
(Traffic Safety Facts- 2014 DATA, NHTSA December 2015)

    • “In 2014, there were 9,967 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving a driver with a BAC of .08 g/dL or higher; this was 31 percent of total traffic fatalities for the year.”
    • “Alcohol-Impaired driving fatalities in the past 10 years have declined by 27% from 13,582 in 2005 to 9,967 in 2014.”
    • In 2014, the 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers with BACs of .08 g/dL or higher (30%) in fatal crashes
    • “In 2014, 19% of child traffic fatalities,(age 14 and younger), occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.”
    • “The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 was nearly four times higher at night than during the day”

Click here to view Traffic Safety Facts from NHTSAopens in a new window

 

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