ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

A profile of designated drivers and the people who use them: A survey of two provincial Queensland cities

Nielson, A, Watson, B (Peer reviewed)

Research - Drink or Drug Driving

2008

This paper reports the findings of a survey that was conducted in two provincial Queensland cities as part of an evaluation of a trial designated driver program. It provides a profile of designated drivers and those who use them; using data from the baseline questionnaire. The sample consisted of 405 individuals surveyed in 16 drinking venues in both cities (approximately 90% response rate). The participants were asked about their knowledge and use of designated driver, drinking behaviour, reported drink driving behaviour and demographic characteristics. There were 205 males (50.6%) and 200 females (49.4%) in the sample. The majority were aged under 30 years of age (63.5%). Around 15% of participants had been a designated driver in the last three months, with 70% having used a designated driver in the last three months. Almost 14% of participants indicated that they were a designated driver on the night of interview, with almost one quarter of participants using a designated driver on the night of interview. Those who indicated that they were a designated driver on the night of the survey tended to be older, less likely to have reported drink driving, and consumed less alcohol in an average week than those who were not acting as designated drivers. Similar differences were found between those who had been a designated driver at least once before and those who had never been a designated driver. The results of the study have important implications for the design of designated driver programs and associated publicity campaigns. Limitations and other implications of the results are also discussed.