Barriers and facilitators of a designated driver program
Watson, Angela & Watson, Barry (2009) Barriers and facilitators of a designated driver program. In Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference : Smarter, Safer Directions, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, New South Wales. (In Press)
The general aim of designated driver programs is to reduce the level of drink driving by encouraging potential drivers to travel with a driver who has abstained from (or at least limited) consuming alcohol. Designated driver programs are quite widespread around the world, however a limited number have been rigorously evaluated. This paper reports the qualitative results from an evaluation of a designated driver program known as ‘Skipper’, in a provincial city in Queensland. Focus groups were conducted with 108 individuals from the intervention area. These focus groups aimed to assess the barriers and facilitators to the programs’ effectiveness by obtaining information about the patrons’ views on various aspects of the program, as well as designated driver and travelling after drinking more generally. A brief questionnaire was also given to participants in order to present responses in terms of the participants’ characteristics. Results suggest general support for the designated driver concept and the ‘Skipper’ program specifically. Facilitating factors reported by participants included the media coverage highlighting the risks associated with drink driving and the social acceptability of choosing not to drink. However, there was also some suggestion that the impact of the program was mainly to encourage those who already engage in designated driver behaviour to continue doing so, rather than encouraging the uptake of the behaviour among potential new users. Some of the suggested barriers to this kind of behaviour change include: social pressure to drink; alcohol dependency; and a failure to plan ahead.
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