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As 2013 winds to a close, we’re looking back at some of the year’s most unique approaches to addressing impaired driving. Running the spectrum from serious to off-the-wall creative, these campaigns and tactics made us take notice:

1. YouTube DUI confession

In September, Matthew Cordle posted an online video to confess to causing a drunk driving crash that killed a 61-year-old-man. Cordle said he wanted to convince others not to get behind the wheel drunk, and the video spurred the #saveyourvictim campaign. But some speculated that his confession was really a ploy for a reduced sentence.

2. Turn that beer can into a safe ride home

During Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, an alcohol company installed custom turnstiles in the city’s subway system to allow partiers to pay for a train ride with their beer can. The campaign encouraged people to use public transportation instead of driving home and helped keep the streets cleaner—a win/win!

3. Fighting drunk driving—one bathroom at a time

London’s Department for Transport used a pub bathroom mirror to illustrate the horrors of drunk driving. The campaign’s video shows shocked loo-goers jumping away from the sink when a bloody face explodes through the mirror, simulating a pedestrian crashing into a drunk driver’s windshield.

4. Get 2 DUIs, lose your ride

Yakima, WA, started enforcing a seldom-used state law that allows law enforcement to confiscate, keep, and even sell vehicles owned by people convicted of two or more DUIs. The city developed a 31-second ad to inform residents if they drive drunk they may forfeit their car.

5. PSAs show what elves do when the kiddos head to bed

In December, the Newfoundland Royal Canadian Mounted Police created an anti-drunk driving PSA starring the Elf on the Shelf. The photo series featured a boozy Elf getting pulled over in a Barbie car, and his subsequent trip to the local police station.


6. Breathalyzers for parking lots

A Belgium nightclub required patrons to blow into a breathalyzer before exiting the club’s parking lot. If patrons blew above the legal limit, the barrier wouldn’t open. Knowing in advance that they wouldn’t be able to leave the parking lot drunk, over 90% of drivers were sober enough to open the barrier on their first try.

Which of these approaches gets your vote for the most unique way to combat drunk driving? What other stories should be on this list?

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.


  1. the Belgian pub idea is great . For there is Very limited parking in the cities , so patrons would about HAVE to use the pub park.

  2. I reckon the best one is breathalyzers for parking lots. Alternative plans for getting home could then be made.

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