Reducing Drink Driving in Dominican Republic

Problem & Context

In 2015, the Dominican Republic had the highest estimated rate of fatalities from road crashes in the Americas, and the fifteenth-highest worldwide, with an estimated 29.3 fatalities per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization's Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 [1].

In this same year, the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) began a project to help address the issue. Following preliminary meetings between government and IARD, with the local and regional assistance of Pernod Ricard and Diageo, a discussion was organized with key stakeholders: this included government ministries, NGOs, agencies, and officials, and representatives from the alcohol beverage sector.

Intended Outcomes

IARD and the regional and local alcohol beverage industry established a program to help prevent drink driving, with the following goals:

  •  To increase public awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving
  •  To strengthen the application of the law and help reduce drink driving
  •  To provide support for an adequate legal framework

The partnership aimed to help improve road safety and reduce alcohol-related road fatalities in particular, by supporting the government’s work in implementing and enforcing the 2017 transit law. As part of this, an important goal was to equip the Dominican government and police force with the tools to better regulate and enforce traffic safety laws relating to alcohol consumption.

The Process

IARD engaged a wide range of government and private stakeholders – along with academia, NGOs, civil society – and helped lead meetings and workshops about road safety issues. These events allowed many Dominican road-safety agencies and experts to become aware of others’ work and expertise.

IARD acted as the representative of the international and local alcohol Industry, along with the local trade associations RIVLAS, ADOFACE, and ADOPRON, throughout the planning and implementation of the program. In 2016, these trade associations and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MISPAS) reached their first collaboration agreement, with IARD’s assistance, to promote responsible drinking and help reduce alcohol-related harm.

This involved six areas of commitment

  •  No sale of alcohol to minors
  •  Discourage the driving of vehicles under the influence of alcoholic beverages
  •  Promote and strengthen the advertising and marketing regulation codes related to responsible for alcoholic beverages
  •  Promote consumer transparency with respect to the information on the label of alcoholic beverages
  •  Involve the retailers in the promotion of moderate consumption and responsible service of alcoholic beverage
  •  Discussion of public policies related to the consumption and commercialization of alcoholic beverages

In recognition of the serious need to improve road safety throughout the country, the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, created the Presidential Task Force for Road Safety. This task force convened international experts and took a large role in drafting a new law governing transit and transportation. Because of the earlier meetings, stakeholder outreach and engagement, and knowledge exchange, IARD and local partners were able to design the program to support road safety and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) laws [2].

Additional information and a full timeline for the process is available here.


The Impact

In 2017, President Danilo Medina enacted the new drink driving law, which set a maximum BAC limit for car drivers, motorcyclists, and professional drivers. In the same year, the task force became the National Institute for Transit and Land Transportation (INTRANT), which was established as the lead agency responsible for coordinating transportation and road safety in the Dominican Republic. Then, IARD and its industry partners met again with the Ministry of Public Works and Communications and the Technical Committee to present its drink driving prevention campaign; the project team worked with an advertising agency to create the campaign that supported the new road-safety law. After this, INTRANT invited IARD to sign a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on future road-safety issues, including the following commitments:

  •  Donation of breath-testing devices
  •  Policy training
  •  Technical assistance (breath-testing devices and random controls)
  •  Advertising campaigns
  •  Pre- and post-intervention poll
  •  Teaching material

As part of these commitments, in 2017 and 2018, IARD and its industry partners donated eight breath-testing systems to INTRANT, to be used at new high-visibility sobriety checkpoints, and trained 20 police officers in their use. IARD also worked with INTRANT to develop educational materials with information about the new BAC limits and the effects of alcohol on drivers, along with recommendations and tips to discourage drink driving. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) also provided additional technical training to Police Officials through best practice training in Mexico and local workshops.

These checkpoints were successfully launched in August 2019; data from INTRANT’s Permanent Observatory of Road Safety (OPSEVI) indicates that 26% of the drivers tested on the first day exceeded the maximum BAC level.

In the second half of 2019, INTRANT and DIGESETT launched their own successful campaign Tómatelo en serio: si tomas, no manejes (Take it seriously: if you drink, don’t drive) [3,4] with IARD's support.



[1] World Health Organization (WHO). (2016). Global status report on road safety 2015.
[2] National Institute for Transit and Land Transportation (INTRANT). INTRANT y DIGESETT ejecutan el programa de revisión de alcoholemia en Santo Domingo [INTRANT and DIGESETT execute the breathalyzer evision program in Santo Domingo].
[3] United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). (1-3 July 2019). Dominican Republic launches national high visibility enforcement campaign to reduce drinking and driving.
[4] National Institute for Transit and Land Transportation (INTRANT). ¿Qué es “#TómateloenSerio”?

Participants and Stakeholders
Government and multinational:
  •  National Institute of Traffic and Land Transportation (INTRANT)
  •  Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC)
  •  Ministry of Interior and Police (MIP)
  •  Congressman Tobias Crespo
  •  Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MISPAS)
  •  Office of the Attorney General
  •  The National Police’s General Directorate of Traffic Safety and Land Transportation (DIGESETT): previously, the Metropolitan Transport Authority (AMET)
  •  The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and its International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL)
Private Sector
  •  The Representatives of Liquor Importers and Distributors (RIVLAS)
  •  IARD and member companies
    • Diageo
    • Pernod Ricard
    • Cervecería Nacional Dominicana (AB InBev)
  •  The Dominican Association of Rum Producers (ADOPRON)
  •  The Dominican Association of Beer Producers (ADOFACE)
  •  Research company Quadrante

+ NGOs including the road safety organization Red de la Dignidad (FundaReD) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA)