Epidemiology: Risk Factor Research

Effectiveness of Designated Driver Programs

Principal Investigator: Frederick Rivara, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Washington Department of Pediatrics and Epidemiology
Funding Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 17,013 people died in alcohol-related crashes in 2003, and the annual cost of these crashes has been estimated at $51 billion. Most DWI offenders report that they were drinking at a bar or restaurant before their arrests, and people aged 21-34 are more likely to do their drinking in bars than are drinkers at other ages. The investigators will determine if designated driver and safe-ride home programs, which have been organized in communities throughout the U.S., are effective in reducing crashes, DWI citations, injuries and fatalities in this age group. Dissemination of the study findings will be an important part of this project.