Designated Driver

Stichting Verantwoord Alcoholgebruik
2001 > 2017
#AwarenessRaising #DesignatedDrivers #RoadChecks


To raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving among young drivers

To encourage the use of a designated driver as normal behaviour


The campaign is run by the government and supported by STIVA.  Started in Belgium in 1995, it was launched in 2001 in the Netherlands with the “Bob jij of Bob ik” (You or I am BOB) slogan.  The slogan was updated in 2010 with the “designated driver stays at zero” (BOB houdt de np) message, in 2011, the slogan was “100% BOB 0% alcohol - To get home safely, stay in control” (100% BOB 0% op. – Veilig thuiskomen heb je zelf in de hand) and from 2015 “say it out loud when you are BOB” (Ben je de BOB zeg het hardop).

The campaign is built on the idea that a combination of education and enforcement measures help to reduce drink-driving.  The central message being the designated driver “BOB” should be chosen before going out. 

It is promoted through signs in motorway parking areas; leaflets; key-rings; television ads; balloons; pens; clothing; beer mats; billboards and a promotional bus.  Also, "BOB blows all over the Netherlands” events are held at national and local level sports and music events.  Visitors to these events can play “BOB blaas” games (“BOB blow” football) to win prizes.  All players receive BOB materials and “BOB blow football” games were held until the end of the Jupiler League season.  Campaign teams are also regularly present at police alcohol checks and can attend company parties. 

The campaign also has a Facebook page, an Instagram account and a website.


The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) 

Netherlands Safe Traffic Organisation

Team Alert

Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers

Ministries of Transport and Health, Welfare and Sport


2017: BOB teams reached 1.5 million people at festivals and 126,500 breathalyser tests were carried out.  200,000 people were reached at the Zwarte Cross festival and 20,000 breathalyser tests were carried out.

2016: 800,000 people were reached on Facebook; 42,408 were reached during 59 controls by police; 10 national events over 38 days (1 million visitors) reached 300,000 and 54,000 breathalyser tests carried out and 85,000 were reached at regional events.

In 2015: 304,300 people were reached on Facebook; 95,840 were reached during 145 controls by police; 33 national events reached 693,000 and 80,500 breathalyser tests carried out and 217,065 were reached at regional events.

From 2011 to 2014: 37,000 alco tests were taken in more than 200 locations.  500,000 visitors were reached at events.  More than a million people were reached with the campaign.  In 2013: 100,000 contacts were reached at police check points and 50,000 contacts were reached at events.

Measurement & evaluation

The Drinking and driving in the Netherlands 2002-2017 report by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management was published in July 2018 (see downloads).  It shows a decrease in drink-drivers from 4% in 2002 to 1.4% in 2017, which is the lowest level ever recorded.  Men are more likely to drink-drive than women but the gap is narrowing.  Men in the 25-34 and 35-49 age groups are most likely to drink-drive as are women aged between 25 and 34.

Figures from the Netherlands Safe Traffic Organisation show that the number of drink-drivers has dropped from 4.0% in 2002 to 1.7% in 2015. 

Evaluation after the 2012/2013 winter campaign showed that: 94% agreed to be “BOB” before leaving the house; 93% agreed that when driving or being a designated driver, one shouldn't drink any alcohol at all and 95% agreed that a designated driver is necessary when visiting friends at home.  The benchmark of other campaigns for those attitudes/opinions is 88%. 

In addition (see downloads):  94% of the general public recognises and appreciates the campaign.  Since its introduction in 2001 the number of drivers found to be over the limit during traffic controls fell from 4.1% in 2002 to 1.8% in 2013.  The number of newly licensed drivers found to be over the limit also fell from 4.8% in 2008 to 2.5% in 2013.




Photo gallery


Govt report - driving under the influence in the Netherlands 2002-2017 (in Dutch) (pdf - 0.7 Mo)
Factsheet October 2014 (pdf - 0.16 Mo)
Netherlands Safe Traffic Organisation 2002 - 2015 Figures (pdf - 0.12 Mo)
BOB flyer (Dutch) (pdf - 0.19 Mo)
BOB presentation (pptx - 6.24 Mo)
BOB15 balloons (pdf - 0.73 Mo)