Action Tips: Create a Designated Driver Program

designated driver

Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death among young people ages 15-20. You can help by starting a designated driver program at your school. Here's how:

First steps

  • Start small. Have a meeting to see how many people are on board with the program. Make sure they’re committed to not consuming ANY alcoholic beverages and to get impaired people home safely.
  • If some don’t have cars, don’t exclude them. Maybe they can help market the program or handle calls for a driver.


  • Decide when you’re going to offer the service. Fridays and Saturdays? Only after dances or big parties? Between what hours? Who will they call? One central number? That means having to get a phone specifically for the program. How will you pay the bill? You may need to have a fundraiser to raise money for costs like phone and gas.
  • Create a schedule for all participants so they’ll know when they’re on call. Make it fair so one person isn't carrying the entire burden.
  • You may want to include your local police department in on discussions. They may be able to provide resources, like helping your spread the word about the program.

Spread the word

  • Promote the use of your program at different events when you know people will likely be drinking, like parties, sporting events, or dances.
  • Ask party throwers to collect keys at the door and put them in a safe place where they can't be found. Explain that this will help keep everyone safe.
  • Consider having a few designated drivers attend events so they’re available immediately if they’re needed.

Tips for designated drivers

  • Let people know you’re not going to be drinking and that you’re willing to drive everyone home safely.
  • Don’t drink! Not even one single drink.
  • Carry a few plastic bags in your car in case people get sick in your ride.
  • Be wary of others on the road, especially late at night.
  • If someone is especially unruly and insists on driving, don’t be afraid to involve authorities. Better safe than sorry!


Get the facts about teens and driving. GO