Germany’s campaign against drink-driving: successfully running for almost 30 years
Martin Dulig, Minister of State for Economics, Labor and Transport of the Free State of Saxony supports the DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE initiative
Launched in 1993, the “DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE” initiative is one of the longest-standing road safety initiatives in Germany. It is supported by the beer, wine, sparkling wine and spirits industry federations as a joint contribution to reducing alcohol-related accidents in Germany. In August 2008, the initiators of the DDAD initiative signed the European Road Safety Charter (ERSC). By signing the Charter, the federations committed to continuing the DDAD initiative.
DDAD is aimed primarily at young male drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 as they are disproportionately involved (17%) in alcohol-related car accidents. At the core of the campaign is the “DDAD Academy” events in vocational schools to promote the message to a young, car-oriented public who represent a credible multiplier of the message. The events include a driving simulator, VR glasses and “alcohol glasses” to show the effects that drinking can have on driving. The “DDAD Academy” team also addresses the legal consequences such as fines, explain the driving points system and responsible alcohol consumption. The campaign is also shared through a website; on YouTube channel; on Instagram; and on Facebook.
Until December 2021, the website has tallied a total of over 2.1 million users and over 5.1 million page views. The Facebook microsite has over 12,599 fans and has reached over 2.8 million and the initiative’s YouTube videos have been viewed over 40,000 times. There have also been 140 events.
There is no doubt that this long standing campaign contributed to the positve trend in reduction of road fatalities under alcohol influence which fell by 5% a year between 2010 and 2018, faster than other road deaths. In 2020, alcohol-related deaths accounted for 5,7% of all road deaths registered in Germany.
Strict legislation, rigourous enforcement combined with education and information contributed to a change of attitude towards drink-driving in Germany, which is now widely considered to be unacceptable.