The tragic death of a Boston reporter at the hands of a drunk driver spurred the Designated Driver concept in the United States

November 30, 2018 — WBZ-TV (Boston): “We all know the term ‘designated driver,’ it’s part of our culture, and the concept has saved countless lives. But did you know the American version began right here 30 years ago? And by ‘right here’ we mean Massachusetts and WBZ-TV. It was born out of a tragedy…in November of 1985…a horrible crash…left WBZ-TV reporter Dennis Kauff barely clinging to life…A few days later Kauff died. ‘There wouldn’t have been a designated driver campaign were it not for the tragic death at the hands of a drunk driver. The death of Dennis Kauff,’ said Dr. Jay Winsten. After learning about Kauff’s death, Winsten, who was at Harvard’s Center for Health Communication, had an idea. What if he could convince local media and even Hollywood to use their programming clout to reduce drunk driving? ‘I said, this is a target of opportunity,’ remembered Winsten.”
Read the WBZ-TV (Boston) article