Drive dry, drive responsibly 

Listening to heart wrenching accounts of loss of life and paralysis in victims of car crashes, left me feeling saddened. 

Many of us are guilty of drink driving without being responsible enough to know how alcohol impairs our actions. 

I attended the Drive Dry Campaign launch last night and pledge to responsible driving. 

Are you drinking or driving?

Diageo uses South African storytellers for 2017 Drive Dry campaign and delivers an emotional lesson.

With the festive season fast upon us and as thousands of South Africans gear up for holiday travel this December, Diageo South Africa has timeously launched its 2017 Drive Dry campaign – which aims to shock South Africans into thinking twice about getting behind the wheel drunk.

Drive Dry, previously known for its award-winning scare campaign “Papa Wag Vir Jou”, will be using the power of storytelling in 2017, to try and change South Africans’ behaviour towards drinking and driving.
We were shown the reality of drink driving by watching real stories of South Africans who have experienced loss, trauma, hurt and difficulty due to driving while under the influence – either due to their own actions or those of a loved-one or a stranger.

These brave individuals were captured on film, telling their stories and these will be made into a series of short clips to be shared with media, as well as on social media over the next year. 

“Our overall goal is to impact and change people’s lives by using real stories to give the campaign resonance. We have also approached celebrity ambassadors who are passionate about driving dry to spread the message far and wide,” said Diageo SA’s Legal and Corporate Security Director Viwe Soga.

In January 2016, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters highlighted that the festive season’s road fatalities had increased by 14% with a total of 1755 fatalities from 1 December 2015 to 11 January 2016 – many of which are a direct consequence of alcohol abuse. According to the WHO Global Status Report for 2015, South Africa is ranked 23rd out of 50 African countries for the highest number of road deaths. The report also estimates that 7,8% of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost due to road traffic crashes. This lost revenue could be used to address South Africa’s other social issues, such as lack of funding for tertiary students.

South Africans Against Drunk Driving (SADD), a non-profit organisation based in Pietermaritzberg, recommends solutions such as an increase in random alcohol testing, the establishment of specialised drink-driving courts so that offenders are tried and convicted within one month of the incident, as well as for every driver to be tested for alcohol or drugs at every crash scene.

“Our mission is to stop drink-driving, protect families from the trauma of losing loved ones and in doing so, to make a tangible difference to South Africans’ lives,” said Caro Smit, founder of SADD and guest speaker at the 2017 Drive Dry campaign launch event.

The Drive Dry video clips will be rolled out over the next year and used across various media platforms, as well as for visual content at Diageo branded and partner events, school visits as part of a drive to educate the youth and at tavern workshops.

“This is going to be an incredibly powerful campaign, and we are honoured that our storytellers have agreed to share their stories in the hope of changing someone else’s life. Responsibility, and looking after the communities in which we operate is key to Diageo’s business. Our brands are made with pride and are only to be enjoyed responsibly,” says Soga.
South Africans can follow the conversation, tell their own stories, watch the video clips, and share the Drive Dry message with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #ThisIsMyStory.For a sneak peek of the mash-up video visit https://youtu.be/kkIrAUzJT8o.

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