Autosobriety: Preventing Drink Driving

Case Studies 10/03/2022

We believe in educating drivers about alcohol and the risks of drinking and driving because no-one should lose their life through drink driving. We also believe that our efforts to reduce harmful drinking have a greater impact when we partner with other organisations. That’s why Pernod Ricard joined forces with UNITAR – the UN’s Institute for Training and Research - to launch Autosobriety. 


Training with UNITAR

Autosobriety is an education programme that aims to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities and injuries. This programme directly tries to influence the UN Global Road Safety Performance Target 9: Halve the number of road traffic injuries and fatalities related to drivers using alcohol by 2030.

UNITAR was created in 1963 to train young diplomats from newly independent UN member states, and over the years UNITAR has developed unique expertise in designing and delivering training activities making them our perfect partner.

Drinking and driving is one of the main causes of road crashes worldwide. In high-income countries about 20% of fatally injured drivers have excess alcohol in their blood, while in some low- and middle-income countries these figures may be up to 69%.
Effective drinking and driving programmes have the potential to save thousands of lives and were identified by the World report on road traffic injury prevention as a proven and effective measure to reduce death and injury on the road.
UNITAR- Auto Sobriety

(Virtual) reality bites

The Autosobriety Programme is an all-round educational tool through which participants learn about alcohol and its impact on their ability to drive, as well as the risks and consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol. Developed in partnership with UNITAR, the 1.5-hour online course includes a practical exercise that allows participants to experience the increasing effects of alcohol on their ability to drive through virtual reality. 

By leveraging technology, participants can experience the effects of alcohol intoxication on driving ability in a realistic, yet safe, driving environment through virtual reality glasses or on an online video. As they experience the effect of increasing blood alcohol levels they see the significant impact alcohol has on their vision, concentration, coordination and reaction times. By embedding this virtual reality element into the programme participants get hands-on experience of these dangerous drink-driving situations, and their negative impact without putting themselves at risk.

The programme provides information to help participants explore all of the risks of driving while intoxicated, not just for the driver and passengers in the vehicle, but pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers in the vicinity. Personal stories also illustrate the statistics from a human perspective and help participants to understand the wider and longer-term negative impact drink-driving can have on people’s lives after a drink-driving accident. 

Beyond the potential personal consequences of accidents, those who take part also learn the important legal ramifications if they are caught drink-driving. At its core, the programme encourages participants to take personal responsibility for their actions and empowers them to make good decisions.

We believe that better education on the risks of drink-driving is key to empowering drivers to make the right decision, and to reduce alcohol related road crashes.
Camille de Potter
Head of Strategy and Prevention, Pernod Ricard
UNITAR- Auto Sobriety

A Global Prevention Programme

An earlier version of the Autosobriety programme was extremely successful in Pernod Ricard Russia, and has grown since the launch in 2013. By 2019, the programme covered 230 driving schools in 14 regions of Russia and had trained over 23,000 driving school students. The success of this programme provided a best practice framework for the global initiative we have developed in partnership with UNITAR.  

In March 2021, Pernod Ricard and UNITAR launched the Autosobriety initiative in the Durban province in South Africa to equip the eThekwini Municipality with these educational tools to build momentum on this important issue. 

The first phase was to rollout ‘train the trainer’ sessions with Municipality driving school instructors, Durban Metro Police officers, and instructors from the Municipal academy as well as the Municipal institute of learning.  The next phase will consist in dedicated workshops for Municipal vehicle drivers and private driving-school owners and instructors. In a final ‘road users at large’ phase, bus and taxi drivers as well as students in driving schools will be involved. The overall goal is to involve and educate around 5,000 road users. 

In May 2021 Autosobriety was also launched in the Dominican Republic under the leadership of INTRANT. In the Dominican Republic the initiative also has endorsement from local road safety agencies and commitment from the private sector to help roll out its three-phase implementation plan. They also aim to educate 5,000 road users.

The ambition is to expand Autosobriety into a global prevention programme for Pernod Ricard and launch the initiative in eight other countries over the next two years.


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About pernod ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s No 2 in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €8,824 million in FY 2021. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard, which owns 16 of the Top 100 Spirits Brands, holds one of the most prestigious and comprehensive brand portfolios in the industry, including: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, and Kenwood wines.

Pernod Ricard’s brands are distributed across 160+ markets and by its own salesforce in 73 markets. The Group’s decentralised organisation empowers its 18,500 employees to be true on-the-ground ambassadors of its vision of “Créateurs de Convivialité.” As reaffirmed by the Group’s strategic plan, “Transform and Accelerate,” deployed in 2018, Pernod Ricard’s strategy focuses on investing in long-term, profitable growth for all stakeholders.

The Group remains true to its three founding values: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust, and a strong sense of ethics, as illustrated by the 2030 Sustainability and Responsibility roadmap supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “Good times from a good place.” In recognition of Pernod Ricard’s strong commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumption, it has received a Gold rating from Ecovadis. Pernod Ricard is also a United Nations’ Global Compact LEAD company. Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN Code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 and Eurostoxx 50 indices.

Contacts Pernod Ricard

Florence Tresarrieu
Global SVP Investors Relations and Treasury
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 17 03
Charly Montet
Investor Relations Manager
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 17 13
Emmanuel Vouin
Head of External Engagement
Tel: +33 (0) 1 70 93 16 34