88% of South Africans say fear of arrest deters them from drunk driving

2010-11-30 12:54
Fact: 88% of South Africans say the fear of being arrested and sent to jail for drunk driving encourages them not to drink and drive.
This was revealed in the brandhouse Drive Dry Responsible Drinking online survey, conducted on News24.com.

The survey results support the rationale behind the latest brandhouse Drive Dry advertising campaign, which is premised on the fear factor and the belief that the prospect of arrest and incarceration is a powerful deterrent to drunk driving. The campaign goes live on TV today.

The above-the-line campaign dramatises the possible consequence of landing up in prison, and most worryingly, who you could end up sharing a cell with.

Phumza Rengqe, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at brandhouse says their strategy is not simply to raise awareness but to change consumer behavior.

In the 45 second television execution, you see dating videos of a variety of men talking about themselves and what they are looking for in a partner. As the camera pans out it reveals these are clearly seasoned prison inmates speaking from within a jail cell. The advertisement is wrapped up with the lines: “You don’t want to meet these men.” It is followed by the line, “Choose not to drink and drive,” and sealed off with the brandhouse Drive Dry logo. There will also be an execution aimed at women.

“People may be shocked by this hard-hitting campaign but we want them to understand that drunk driving has consequences, and to change their behaviour accordingly; in other words, to never drink and drive.”

“The chilling surprise factor of the campaign brings the message into the viewers’ reality, allowing them to see that the last road block they encountered may have had a completely different outcome. Although many people think that drunk driving doesn’t make them a bad person, we want them to see that their actions can be bad and they can end up in prison with genuinely bad people”, said Rengqe.

“Our research tells us that even if people drive when they are over the limit, they don’t believe that anything bad will happen to them.  We want to get people to realise that drunk driving has consequences, that it is a criminal offence and that they could end up in prison as a result of it. The threat of being caught is increasing even more as the traffic authorities are gearing up for festive season.”

In South Africa, approximately 6000 people are killed per year by drunk drivers (www.sadd.org.za). According to Arrive Alive, drunk driving is one of the greatest threats to road safety in South Africa and their research indicates that 50% of people who die on the roads have a blood alcohol concentration above 0.05 gram per 100 millilitres.

Together with government and other organisations, a hard-hitting approach must be taken in educating people about the consequences of their actions. “Everybody must work together to combat the problem of drunk driving”, concluded Rengqe.

As part of the effort to change consumer behavior, the brandhouse Drive Dry campaign is rolling-out Alcomatic machines in the retail environment, at bars and nightclubs. The Alcomatic is an on-site breathalyzer. You insert a R5 coin in the machine and take out a mouth piece, and breathe. It will indicate if you are over the legal limit and your alcohol level.

Quote from Robin Carlisle, Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works - Brandhouse's Drive Dry campaign has been endorsed by the Western Cape Ministry of Transport and Public Works."Drunk driving is a major cause of accidents and fatalities on our roads and I'm pleased that Brandhouse has partnered our Safely Home campaign to help us save lives on our roads. I'm of the firm view that the government, on its own, will not end the carnage on our roads without the support of the private sector, non-governmental organizations and the public. By working together we can change perceptions change perceptions towards drunk driving and ultimately help us prevent avoidable road accidents and fatalities. The aim of the provincial government is to make drunk driving as taboo here as it is in some countries.”

More findings from brandhouse Drive Dry Responsible Drinking survey (News24.com)

-    43%of respondents were between 26-35 years old
-    43% of the respondents have driven under the influence of alcohol in the last month
-    5% of the respondents have drive under the influence of illicit drugs in the last month
-    82% of the respondents have been stopped at a roadblock
-    67% of the respondents will be encouraged to drink responsibly by the proposed demerit system
-    79% of respondents think that road blocks are an effective deterrent to drunk driving
-    64% have been or know someone that has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol
-    28% of the respondents do not plan on using a taxi service but will be relying on friends to get them home safely this festive season
-    77% of respondents said that they had not been given a breathalyser when they were stopped at roadblocks
-    23% of the respondents do not know what the legal alcohol limit is and when they have reached it.

Drive Dry was a direct result of focus groups across South Africa which revealed that consumers do not believe alcohol-related accidents will happen to them.  The research also showed drunk driving is considered ‘socially acceptable’ behavior and that consumers underestimate how devastating the consequences of irresponsible drinking can be. 

Drive Dry was launched five years ago and is an honest approach to evoking strong emotional responses from consumers by personalising the issue of drunk driving. It forms part of brandhouse’s ongoing efforts to inform and raise consumer awareness about the potentially devastating effects of drunk driving – and to change behaviour.

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