Designated Driver Service Availability and Its Effects on Drunk Driving Behaviors

Jinhwa Chung, Hailey Hayeon Joo and Seongman Moon

Abstract

Designated driver service in Korea offers a convenient and affordable solution for drunk drivers to reach their destinations with their own vehicles. We investigate the influence of this service availability on drunk driving behaviors, using Korean panel data from 1998 to 2011. We find that an increase in designated driver firms significantly reduces both alcohol-involved and total traffic fatality rates, while the effects of well-known deterrence policies are weak. This result is further supported by a counterfactual analysis which compares the effect of the service on traffic fatality rates in daytime to those in nighttime when the rate of the service use is substantially higher.

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