Combat drink-driving with mindful drinking

  • New research reveals more than a third of Aussies still choose to drink alcohol when driving
  • Concerningly, just a tenth of Aussies organise a designated driver when they’re out drinking
  • Ahead of National Road Safety Week (15-22 Nov), Sans Drinks is encouraging Aussies to embrace mindful drinking and take steps toward a safer and healthier relationship with alcohol


Despite the significant risk of fines, accidents or losing their licence, more than a third (37%) of Aussies still choose to drink when they know they will be driving [1].

Tragically, around a third (30%) of road traffic deaths in Australia each year involve alcohol [2]. With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to ease around the country, boozy social gatherings are bound to be plentiful this summer, but concerning new research reveals that one in five (20%) Aussies still drive despite not knowing if they are over the legal limit [3].

The research carried out by Sans Drinks also reveals that only one in ten (9%) Aussies organise a designated driver before going out on the town [1]. This is especially concerning given that one in two (46%) millennials feel pressured to drink at social gatherings [1].

Founder of the Australian Road Safety Foundation Russell White says the new data is quite disappointing, especially to see that less then 10% of Aussies are organising designated drivers before going out.

“When we get behind the wheel of a car, we’re not just responsible for our own life, but also the lives of everyone around us. Because drinking is such an ingrained part of socialising in Australia, we need to get better at planning ahead or abstaining completely, or switching to alcohol-free drinks so we’re not even tempted to drink-drive,” White says.

Irene Falcone, founder of Sans Drinks recognises the risks associated with the societal pressure around drinking.

“With one in two (46%) millennials feeling pressured to drink in social gatherings [1], driving after a night of unplanned drinking is highly likely, and extremely concerning,” Ms Falcone said.

Aided by the current global trend of zero-alcohol versions of our favourite drinks, designated drivers no longer have to stick to just lemonade or water. The hundreds of non-alcoholic wines, spirits and beers now available online provide Australians with a safe and health-conscious alternative for when they’re behind the wheel.

“It’s so important to be mindful of how much we’re drinking. Of course, for designated drivers and the safety of their passengers, but also to help reduce excessive alcohol consumption in general.

“Especially as the holiday period approaches, the perfect alternative is one where only the alcohol is removed and none of the enjoyment!” said Falcone.

“Non-alcoholic drinks aren’t just fruity mocktails anymore. You can enjoy the taste of your favourite drink without getting drunk, or swap between non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks and have a longer, more enjoyable night out.”

With many Australians planning to visit relatives and holiday locally this Christmas, Russell is encouraging Aussies to plan ahead to keep themselves and their families safe on the road.

“Plan to stay over with friends if you’re going to be drinking, or alternatively, if you have to drive, try to switch over to non-alcoholic beers, wines or spirits after your first drink or two. By reducing the amount of alcohol we’re consuming over the silly season, we’re hoping to see less alcohol-related road accidents,” White says.

Ahead of National Road Safety Week (15-22 November), Sans Drinks is encouraging Aussies to embrace mindful drinking and take steps towards a safer and healthier relationship with alcohol.

About the Sans Drinks

Irene Falcone, mother of four and serial entrepreneur, has always had an eye for revolutionary business ideas and living a toxin-free life. After selling her first company, Nourished Life,  an online retailer selling non-toxic health and beauty products, Irene has ventured into the world of non-alcoholic beverages.

On her quest for a completely toxin-free life, Irene gave up drinking alcohol and immediately noticed the immense difference in her gut health, energy levels and skin. She permanently switched to non-alcoholic beverages, but struggled to find retailers in Australia that sold them.

Irene’s newfound passion and mission to encourage more mindful drinking in Australia, was the catalyst for her new business venture Sans Drinks, an online retailer selling the best of the world’s non-alcoholic beverages here in Australia.

About Australian Road Safety Foundation

The Australian Road Safety Foundation was established in 2010 and in its 10 year history, has earned a well-known national presence and reputation with strong support from both the federal and state governments, the private sector, and the police for its initiatives, programs and events across Australia.

Each year their national campaigns educate road users on the individual role they play in reducing the devastating impact of road crashes.

About the Research & Citations

  1. The research by Sans Drinks was carried out on a national representative sample of 1011 Australians aged 18 and over in September 2020. Methodology: The data sample was weighted against ABS data for age, gender and location using an online survey that is independently conducted and verified PureProfile.
  2. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, 9 July 2020, Road Trauma Australia 2019 Statistical Summary,
  3. Budget Direct, 29-11-2017, Understanding drink-driving attitudes in Australia compared to the rest of the world,,year%20due%20to%20drink%2Ddriving