Social Norms Campaign Increases Sober Ride Planning

The Persistent Drunk Driver (PDD) Committee will conclude its university social norms campaign at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in June with impressive results. The campaign, called Help Drive Home the Message - #SmartMoveUCCS, used data from annual surveys of more than 600 UCCS students to identify and promote the positive actions most students already take to avoid impaired driving. These messages were continually reinforced through creative concepts and tactics, including a vinyl-wrapped, branded Volkswagen Bug that was used as a mobile billboard.

At the end of the two-year campaign, students more frequently reported planning a safe ride before consuming alcohol or marijuana; the number of students who made sure they could contact alternative transportation increased by 35 percent. The final survey revealed that students believe 72 percent of their peers frequently, almost always, or always designated a sober driver – up from 66 percent when the campaign began.

The campaign at UCCS was the last of four college social norms campaigns funded by the PDD Committee. The social norms approach aims to close the perceptual gap regarding drug and alcohol use that often exists on college campuses. The PDD Committee is tasked with educating Coloradans about the consequences of driving impaired. The Committee is comprised of Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health; Colorado Department of Transportation; Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles and the State Judicial Branch.