In July 2011, Ventura County Behavioral Health, Project Safer and the Ventura Police Department collaborated to develop and implement a campaign to recognize and reward designated drivers. The campaign was known as, “Be the DD and Win”. The “DD” acronym is short for Designated Driver. During the campaign, local alcohol establishments in Downtown Ventura would provide wristbands for designated drivers and provide them with prizes.
Project Safer, a local prevention provider, spearheaded the campaign. According to Project Safer’s records, over $77,000 in prizes have been given away to designated drivers in Ventura County; all of which was donated by local businesses. Over 6,200 designated drivers were identified during the nights of the campaign. Over 16,000 people were driven home safely by the designated drivers .
The Be the DD and Win campaign not only set out to identify and reward designated drivers but to also change the perception that being the designated driver was “cool” and “important”. Over the last five years thousands upon thousands have been reminded about the importance of the designated driver and not driving while impaired.
Although the campaign will not continue on a monthly basis, Project Safer and the Ventura Police Department will continue to encourage the public to plan ahead and have a safe ride when deciding to drink alcohol..
With summer in full swing and festivals each weekend throughout the county, it is important to remember, that although there are still folks who make the wrong decision to drink and drive, you still have time to make the right decision. You can be a designated driver.
The Ventura Police Department thanks all of the Downtown businesses that participated in the Be the DD and Win campaign over the last five years. Additional thanks to Ventura County Behavioral Health and Project Safer for their funding and commitment to the campaign.