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

The ambition is to expand Autosobriety into a global prevention programme and roll it out in 10 countries by 2024. By 2022, the first phase of the project was launched in South Africa, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, and Poland where we trained our local partners from road safety authorities and driving schools who will convey Autosobriety knowledge to the final road users at the next stage of the project implementation. 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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