They say that the best things in life are free. We agree, especially when those free things keep reminding people to drive responsibly. In Colorado, a unique coupon is attracting a LOT of attention for its efforts in curbing DUI, by rewarding bar patrons with a discount on a drink the next time they come by. All they have to do was leave their car overnight in the parking lot. In return, they are invited back for more merriment.
If you think about it, that small gesture could make big changes in how people consider their options after a long night of drinking. Positive reinforcement has been shown to be more effective in changing behavior, so why wouldn’t it work when faced with a DUI choice? In the same light, car breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices offer a positive spin on recovering from a drunk driving incident: an offender gets a second chance at freedom, and most rise to the occasion with a full recovery and no further incidents. So, offering a coupon for good behavior can only follow the same trajectory. Its psychology and positive behavior modification… and it works.
In fact, that coupon for avoiding a DUI is just the latest in the positive world of sober driving incentives. Imagine winning a prize as the “designated driver of the week,” or a free night on the town for pledging to drive responsibly – both of which were successful campaigns in recent years. When people are focused on doing better, that’s what happens. If there’s a financial or other reward for our efforts, well, they deserve it.
All too often, we get caught up in negative talk and fear of consequences, all of which can lead to making bad decisions under the influence of alcohol. When we benefit directly from being responsible, we’re going to keep up our stellar reputations and awesome driving history. If that means we get a freebie now and again, then cheers to us, responsible drivers!