Public Comment

I thought it was great that I was being recognised (by getting free soft drink) for bringing my mates across from Ulverstone. I think the program is a great idea. Be good to see it in other areas. Dean Cooper, Designated Driver
I was DES as I picked my boyfriend up from The King (of Burnie). He lost his licence some time ago for six months. I think the program is great. Get rewarded for doing the right thing. Stephanie Jones, Designated Driver
I think that it is terrific that I can sit and drink soft drink and because of the program it is more acceptable. If anyone stirs me, I just say I am DES. I lost my son in a car accident years ago and I am all for this. Annette Haines, Designated Driver
I was DES because I wanted to make sure my friends were safe. I lost my licence for six months for drink driving, and I’ve learnt my lesson. Anita Bakes, Designated Driver
My children have been excited about the Designated Driver Program, as they live 32km from Burnie. They go out sometimes in Burnie because they like the nightlife, but because of the distance, taxis are not an option. Before DES it was always hard to find a driver. Now DES is the in thing and they fight to be DES. They have a roster system. I have heard this from quite a few other people. It’s fantastic. Jenny Grossmith, Tasmanian State School Parents & Friends Association Inc.
In some ways, a program like DES, requiring the youth of a community to adopt a responsible attitude when drinking or going out, has a potentially high failure rate and could be regarded as too responsible, unsociable or uncool in a socialising enviroment. Just the idea of drinking soft drink would be intimadating when out with people suggesting you should have stayed at home if u don’t wanna drink. But since this program has been implemented and tried, I found the social issues that would normaly stop non drinkers DES's from goin’ out changed, and not only did I notice this as a patron in a bar or night club but as a Bar Tender at an establishment that supports this program. There becomes less of a requirement as a bar tender to hide a soft drink in a spirit glass to prevent anyone from feeling intimidated around their friends.

The one thing that stood out to me was the word DES (and) how it has adapted itself to the social lives of this community. An example of this was when I was at a pub in Launceston with some mates of mine and I had one of my friends say to the bar tender I am DES tonight and won’t be drinking. I explained to the bar tender, who had not heard of the program, how in Burnie if you are DES you receive a free soft drink and, because the bar tender was so surprised that my friend had openly said I am DES and not drinking tonight, he gave my friend the free soft drink. Danny Walters, Designated Driver

Venue Comment

We fully support the program and think it is great. It helps Burnie in so many ways. We will keep running with it. Paul Halton, Licensee, Sirocco’s Bar & Nightclub (Burnie, Tasmania
We love it! It’s a great thing. Should continue all the time. So much easier for people who want to drink soft drink and for people to get home safely. The young kids aren’t embarrassed to be DES. In fact, they come in and say no to their name being used, if they are being DES for the night, ask me to call them DES. Terrific name that was chosen. It caught on really quick. Annette Graves, employee, Club Hotel (Burnie, Tasmania)
The feedback from the customers has been fantastic. They can have a soft drink and are not stirred up about it. Don’t have the worry about serving them and worrying about them getting home safely. There is a problem with taxis, so it is really great.Tamara Bartsch, employee, Club Hotel (Burnie, Tasmania)

Police Comment

As a general observation there have been regular instances in this region of intercepted drivers carrying passengers, producing zero blood alcohol readings and identifying as Designated Drivers. This tends to confirm other feedback to the effect that the Designated Driver program is widely known in the Burnie area, and is being well accepted. Inspector Bill Wynwood, Burnie Uniform Section, Tasmania Police
There has been a marked reduction in the number of drink driving offences and public assaults. It’s a very positive road safety initiative. It’s bound to affect our road toll and reduce the number of fatal or serious accidents. - printed in The Advocate Newspaper Inspector Darren Hopkins, North West Traffic Services, Tasmanian Police
Only one motorist was charged with drink driving following a police random breath-testing blitz at Camdale yesterday. We did stop a number of vehicles which contained people returning home from nightclubs and parties. But with the exception of one, the man charged, they all had Designated Drivers who did not record an alcohol reading. - printed in The Advocate Newspaper Sergeant Nick Clarke, North West Traffic Services, Tasmania Police

Media and Partner Comment

Having viewed other Designated Driver programs throughout Australia I would have to say that Burnie’s program is the most professional I have seen. Every angle seems to be covered and there is so much community support. We are more than happy to support the program and have developed new ads in light of the licensed establishments wanting it to continue. Peter Rubinstein, Director, RADD Australia and Radiowise Media Networks
The DES program in Burnie has demonstrated to clubs and pubs throughout Tasmania that Designated Driver arrangements work to reduce the harms associated with alcohol. Organisations that sell alcohol have a level of responsibility to ensure their patrons get home safely and implementing a DES program is an effective strategy. The DES program encourages a planned night out that benefits the individuals, the licensed club or pub and the community at large. From a club management perspective, implementing DES has the potential to increase patronage and therefore turnover whilst increasing individual and community safety.Brad Swain, Tasmanian Manager, Good Sports Program