Designated Driver Photo Montage
how to implement a deisgnated driver program page header
previous page next page


How to Implement a Community-Based Designated Driver Program

  Program Planning
  Program Marketing

Tips for Specific Groups


  Educators/College Groups
  Criminal Justice
  Medical and Health Care Community
  Hospitality Industry and Retailers
  Armed Forces

Publicity and Promotion
  Working with the Media
  Calendar of Year Round Ideas
  Media Q&A

  Partners and Resources


The desire to create a Designated Driver program can come from many sources: a small group of concerned citizens or a local organization involved with traffic safety or public health. Starting or enhancing a program is easy if you properly plan.


Be sure to commit enough time to build your program. Here's how:

  • Identify complementary programs in your community,
  • Identify possible partners,
  • Solicit partnership input and support, and
  • Determine the scope of your program. It could cover restaurants or bars, a civic organization or the entire community.

Remember, there are many organizations in your community involved with impaired driving prevention. Use them as a resource and gain their support. You'll find it much easier to get your program off the ground.


Your Designated Driver program may either be part of a larger organization or an independent entity. A program that operates as part of a larger organization may have access to accounting services, legal services, space, seed money and similar resources from the parent organization. If affiliated with a larger organization, the program can be spun off as a separate organization after it is established.

The size and scope of the program will determine the budget. There are many ways to obtain funding, such as member fees, government or corporate donations, and in-kind contributions. Explain how you'll allocate resources and how these resources will benefit the program and the community.

• You may be more successful getting donations if you ask for services or materials instead of money.

• You should pursue a variety of funding sources:

  • Local and regional foundations and philanthropic organizations,
  • State government,
  • Fund-raising events, such as raffles, sales and entertainment events,
  • Businesses and organizations,
  • Annual fees from participating establishments and
  • Work with judges and prosecutors to levy fines on DWI/DUI offenders that help to fund a Designated Driver program (an example of one such a program appears on page 13).

Ensure that your budget includes: staffing, postage, office space, salaries, fees and benefits, ancillary office expenses, travel and meeting expenses, production/design fees, printing and promotional costs. Staff time is the most costly of these resources, but a lead agency or program partner may be willing to donate staff to the program.


Community support is a key to building a successful Designated Driver program. You can begin building partnerships with any number of groups in your community. Partners can help you get the message out that your community stands behind efforts to rid the streets and highways of impaired drivers. Build a partnership among groups in your community that would be able to contribute to long-term or short-term (such as holidays or weekend only) Designated Driver programs.


You have already researched what programs exist in your community and identified potential partners. But why are they important? In most cases, community outreach and advocacy groups are eager to assist you. Law enforcement, MADD chapters and other groups have existing programs that you can tap into. If a program already exists, you should consider joining them and expanding their efforts.

previous pagenext page