Scituate FACTS and Scituate Police Department are delighted to launch the Scituate Designated Driver Program, “Designate a Driver”, to coincide with the town’s hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrations. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade brings many visitors to town and is a time when there are many young children around the harbor. Scituate Police officers are out in force on this day to ensure the safety of all spectators.
A Designated Driver is a person, who at the beginning of the evening, agrees not to drink ANY alcoholic beverages during their evening out. All Scituate restaurants and clubs licensed to serve alcohol have signed up to this program, they will display a window sticker or menu logo signaling their participation in the program, and offer the Designated Driver in the party of two or more, free soft drinks or other incentive.
The Designated Driver Program is a voluntary program between the Scituate Police Department, Scituate FACTS Coalition, The Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office and licensed alcohol servers in the Town of Scituate. This is a cooperative, proactive effort aimed at reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road. This effort will effectively reduce preventable deaths and injuries caused by impaired driving, and continue to change norms in Scituate. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA, 2013), alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 52 minutes.
Officer O’Shea, Social Service Officer, SPD, and Barbara Quinlan, Scituate FACTS have been eager to address this issue since the publication of the 2015 student survey at Scituate High School, in which 29% of students reported riding in car within the past month with a driver who had been drinking. The statewide rate for this risky behavior is 18% of high school students (MA Survey, 2013).By implementing a Designated Driver Program we are encouraging everyone to “Designate a Driver” when going out as a group.
Having an official program logo on the window of the establishment or printed on a menu encourages the Designated Driver to identify themselves to their server and participating businesses are encouraging patrons to do so. Watch out for our logo in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade banner and candy, and at restaurants and clubs on their window and drink coasters.
We are grateful to all businesses for giving us their wholehearted support by enthusiastically participating in this program.