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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


Publicity and promotion can make or break your program. Regardless of the activities you use to build awareness of your program, there are some basic steps you should take first, such as:

  • Appoint someone to lead the publicity and promotion effort. This person should have proven experience in marketing, public relations or communications.
  • Identify the programs target audiences. This could be by age, location, gender, etc.
  • Set achievable, measurable goals for the program.
  • Develop a written plan that outlines the publicity and promotion efforts. This should include timelines and budgets.

For more ideas, check out the Publicity and Promotion section of this guide.


Basic research can benefit your program so keep statistics on your activities. Without reliable information about how programs work, it is difficult to compare them or to replicate those that succeed. You should maintain records that detail how your program was implemented. For example, you can:

  • Survey members of the community to learn their attitudes about impaired driving and Designated Drivers.
  • Keep statistics on how many people make use of your Designated Driver program.
  • Track the enforcement of DWI arrests and prosecutions in your community.
  • Track costs associated with operating a Designated Driver program.
  • NHTSA published The "Art of Appropriate Evaluation: A Guide for Highway Safety Program Managers" (DOT HS 808 894) to help you design your evaluation plan. To obtain a copy, see the Publications page.


As soon as basic program steps are in place, you can reach out to the types of organizations that might be effective partners in stopping impaired driving in your community. This guide features tips and success stories for:

  • Community Organizations,
  • Employers,
  • Educators/College Groups,
  • Criminal Justice (i.e., law enforcement, prosecutors and judges),
  • The Medical and Health Care Community,
  • Hospitality Industry and Retailers, and
  • Armed Force


Coalition members can include citizens, law enforcement, public health, medical, injury prevention, education, business, civic and service groups, faith-based organizations, public works offices, and traffic safety advocates. Members help to identify their community's top safety problems and put together a plan to address these issues.

You should also consider partnering with a Safe Communities coalition. A Safe Communities coalition promotes activities to address local highway, traffic safety and other injury  prevention issues. It uses a grassroots approach to identify the community's problems and put together a plan to address these issues. You can find out if there is a Safe Communities program in your area by contacting your regional NHTSA office, or visit NHTSA's Safe Communities site at

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