During recent years, the California Highway Patrol has been successful in reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by drivers under the influence through enforcement and extensive education and public awareness programs.
Designated Driver Program (DDP)
The Department's dedication to reducing DUI-related traffic accidents is also shown in its support of the Designated Driver program. Designated Driver is designed not only to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving, but also to encourage and reward those who choose not to drink in order to safely drive others home.
Five hundred billboards statewide displayed the DDP logo and an anti-DUI message. The DDP logo and message have also been used to promote anti-DUI messages through Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (paid advertising through PSAs), professional and semi-professional sports stadiums, California wine associations, and schools and universities statewide.
"Sober Graduation" is both a title and an objective. This program was established by the Department in 1985 and has been recognized internationally as an effective anti-DUI program targeting high school seniors and raising their awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Each year Division and Area Public Affairs Officers assist participating schools by attending rallies and fund-raisers to disseminate promotional materials with anti-DUI messages. Public Service Announcements (PSAs) showing the consequences of drinking and driving are provided to CHP public affairs officers for presentation at school rallies. In addition, many public affairs programs feature accident scene reenactments that offer a strong message to students about the very serious consequences of drinking and driving.
Red Ribbon Week
Red Ribbon Week is an annual event, usually held in October, to increase the public's awareness of the problems associated with using illicit drugs. The Department shows its support of this program by flying red ribbons from the antennas of all patrol vehicles. Area commanders also participate in local community events featuring this campaign, which is normally held in October.
National Drunk and Drugged Driving Week
Each year, one week is set aside to increase the national awareness of the hazards of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The Department supports this program by promoting it through media announcements and participation in local community activities.
Departmental Field Activities
Each year, Area Commanders and Public Affairs Officers throughout the state make anti-DUI presentations to many school, civic organizations, local community and state events. In particular, the anti-DUI message has reached thousands of people through CHP's involvement with Major League Baseball and special events such as "Traffic Safety Day" and "Law Enforcement Day". Effective anti-DUI PSAs have been produced with the enthusiastic support and cooperation of the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres.
Additional Public Education Campaigns/Programs
The CHP also supports "National/California Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month," "National/California Alcohol Awareness Month", "National 'Just Say No To Drugs' Week", and other innovative public and school education programs.