Designated Driving Thrives Amid Tougher Laws

The China Daily highlights the “rapidly developing yet unregulated” market for designated driving services in China, which has emerged since the government amended its Criminal Law to make drunken driving a criminal act in May 2011:

“We can receive 300 orders every day on average, nearly double the figure for the same period last year,” said Liu Jing, a manager of Changyinwuyou, a company that provides designated driver service in Beijing.

As many as 500 people may call on a busy day, but the company can only handle fewer than 300 orders daily, Liu said. Designated driver services charge by distance, she added.

“Strict monitoring and regulations carried out in recent years contributed to the increase in people’s awareness of the danger posed by drunken driving or driving under the influence of alcohol,” said Liu.

“Unlike several years ago when we started our business, now many customers would seek designated drivers even if they have just had a little amount of wine,” Liu said. “Those who are really drunk only account for less than 5 percent of our total customers.”

The article adds that the number of drunk driving cases has dropped by more than 40% in the twelve months since China amended its Criminal Law, according to the Ministry of Public Security’s Traffic Management Bureau.