Designated Driver Photo Montage
hospitality industry and retailers
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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


The hospitality industry provides a large outlet for alcohol consumption. Fortunately, there are responsible and reasonable methods to enjoy what they offer. Designated Driver programs are important and necessary for the hospitality industry and its customers. These tips are a sample of what restaurants, bars and hotels can do to kick off a successful program:


  • Provide direct phone lines to local taxi cab services and post the taxi phone numbers in the restrooms, at pay phones and near the entrance and exit of the establishment.
  • Have taxi numbers printed on coasters, cocktail napkins, matches and flyers.
  • Include the You Drink & Drive. You Lose. logo at the bottom of the in-house and carry out menus and on the staff uniforms (pin, apron logo, on the sleeve of the shirt).
  • Negotiate with other businesses to purchase a van to be used as a shuttle between participating bars and restaurants. Include advertising on the van for partners contributing to its purchase.
  • Distribute a news release to the local paper on restaurant/bar and the Designated Driver or Safe Ride program kickoff.
  • Offer a late night menu to discourage drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Certify all wait and bar staff in recognizing impaired patrons. A good example is the TIPS (Training for Intervention ProcedureS) program.
  • Do not serve anyone who already appears to be impaired.
  • Create a standard pour for alcoholic drinks (i.e., jiggers and optic pourers allow more accurate pours)
  • Establish drink limits for customers (i.e., one drink at a time per customer).
  • Price drinks in ways that discourages over consumption.
  • Hire off-duty law enforcement officers to be visible at the exits and parking lots on busy nights.
  • Inform guests when they are checking in about the hotel shuttles and taxi services.
  • Have Designated Driver, hotel shuttle, or taxi phone numbers printed on the room keys.
  • Encourage catering and sales to place Designated Driver materials in sales package.
  • Incorporate a taxi shuttle package in catering and sales contracts.
  • Donate meeting space or host media events for MADD, SADD or other groups active in the fight against impaired driving.
  • Offer discounted room rates to customers booking holiday parties, wedding receptions, etc.
  • During special occasions, holidays, or events, pay extra attention to guest consumption and monitor the alcohol accordingly (close the bar an hour early, provide non-alcoholic drinks, etc.).
  • Be sure all hotel employees are trained and certified in a server-training program.
In addition to hospitality establishments, other businesses, grocery stores, liquor stores and taxi services can provide useful service to your program. Here are a few ideas:
  • Exhibit point of purchase displays (brochures, flyers, donation container, etc.) and posters supporting the local Designated Driver program.
  • Encourage local service stations to donate gas to a Safe Ride Program.
  • Local car rental businesses or automobile retailers can donate the use of a car.
  • Provide volunteers for Designated Driver programs.
  • Ask local taxi services and towing companies to participate. They can provide a much-needed service and serve as a source of free advertising for each company involved.
  • Contact local businesses or your phone company to inquire about a discounted or complimentary rate for providing cell phones to Safe Ride programs. Offer to mention the donation in publicity activities in exchange for the donated services.
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