Pilot study reveals drink driving insights

Heineken has launched its latest ‘When you Drive, Never Drink’ initiative in New Zealand, with results showing potential to positively impact drink driving culture.

The world’s most international beer brand implemented a globally designed pilot study that aimed to influence drink driving behaviour through a series of interventions in bars and restaurants based on ‘nudge theory’. These interventions included specially-branded signage and staff uniforms, and discounts and special offers for drivers who commit to staying alcohol-free.

The control week of the study showed that in Auckland, 89 percent of bar patrons were driving home after consuming alcohol. In the test week, this figure dropped by 7 percent. Christchurch saw a 2 percent drop, from 84 percent to 82 percent.

Peter Simons, managing director of DB Breweries, said that Heineken is focused on overcoming the mindset that it is acceptable to consume alcohol before driving.

“While over the course of the pilot study we saw a small decrease in the numbers of people driving home after drinking, we also found that nine out of 10 people driving to bars and restaurants had already decided to drink alcohol and drive home before they had left the house,” he said. “Many people have their own rules around how much alcohol they think they can ‘safely’ drink before driving. We know that even a small amount of alcohol can affect people’s driving, with research showing that drivers with a blood alcohol level of 0.01 percent are 46 percent more likely to be the cause of an accident than sober drivers.”

The ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ programme is a key step in Heineken’s mission to reduce drink-driving behaviour worldwide. Every year, the brand invests at least 10 percent of its media spend on responsible consumption campaigns.