Pick-a-Skipper: an evaluation of a designated driver program to prevent alcohol-related injury in a regional Australian city
The â€˜Community Mobilization for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Injury' (COMPARI) project undertook a designated driver intervention for young adults, known as â€˜Pick-a-Skipper', in the regional Western Australian city of Geraldton, which has a population of ~25 000. The first component of the program was a television advertising campaign encouraging people to â€˜Pick-a-Skipper' if they were going out to drink. The second component of the program comprised a promotion targeting nightclub patrons. The drivers of two or more passengers were provided with free soft drink all night by the nightclub. The â€˜Picka-Skipper' campaign succeeded in persuading a significant number of those young Geraldton drinkers, who were intending to drive to and from their location of drinking, to select non-drinking drivers as â€˜Skippers' before they began consuming alcohol. It was also found that the mass media component was much more important in the success of the program than the on-site licensed premises component; that males were significantly less likely to select a â€˜Skipper' and more likely to undertake high-risk-taking behaviour; that inaccurate knowledge about â€˜Skippers' was also associated with high-risk-taking behaviour and accurate knowledge of the â€˜Skipper' concept was associated with increased frequency of â€˜Skipper' selection; and that passengers defined as â€˜high-risk takers' are more likely to increase their consumption of alcohol if they have designated a driver. The study indicates that an extensive media campaign, providing positive images and utility knowledge on designating a non-drinking driver, can have a significant impact on drinking and driving behaviour in a local community.