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Designated Driving Services (DDS) – A New Option for Returning Home Safely after Drinking

Source:Department of Consumer Protection

In order to implement the "zero tolerance for drunk driving" and "no drunk driving" policies, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, in consideration of the fact that some traders have offered designated driving services (DDS) at present, and to protect the rights and interests of both contracting parties, has specially drafted "the mandatory and prohibitory provisions of the standard contract for designated driving services" (hereinafter referred to as the DDS regulations). The DDS regulations have been approved by the Executive Yuan and is now awaiting the promulgation and implementation by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Besides providing new guidelines for both contracting parties of DDS, the regulations also further ensure the safety of consumers' lives.

The key points of the DDS regulations are as follows:

1. "Designated Driving Services (DDS)" is defined as the service in which the DDS operator assigns a driver with a professional driving license (hereinafter referred to as the Designated Driver) to drive a designated vehicle to a designated location on behalf of the consumer.

2. The DDS operator should clearly disclose and confirm the content of the contract before the service is provided:

The operator should specify the charging standards and payment methods in the contract; disclose and confirm the content of the contract with the consumer before providing the service.

3. Obligations of the consumer to cooperate should be specified:

(1) Consumers: The passenger needs to be conscious. If he or she is caught in unconsciousness, drunkenness, etc., an escort with clear awareness shall accompany the passenger to the designated place.

(2) The designated vehicle: The vehicle must have a compulsory automobile liability insurance, must not be a stolen vehicle, and should be in good conditions.

4. Consumer rights to terminate the contract should be specified:

(1) Before the Designated Driver arrives at the agreed location and notifies the consumer, the consumer may terminate the contract without giving any reason. After receiving the notice of termination of the contract from the consumer, the operator shall notify the Designated Driver immediately and shall not require the consumer to pay any fee.

(2) After the Designated Driver arrives at the agreed location and notifies the consumer but if the consumer terminates the contract, the consumer shall be responsible for the expenses incurred.

5. The operator should reveal and explain the items, coverage, and amount of liability insurance of DDS to the consumer.

Meanwhile, the Department of Consumer Protection of the Executive Yuan(hereinafter referred to as the DCP) states that in order to ensure driving safety, the DDS regulations also stipulate that "during the DDS period, if the consumer asks the Designated Driver to violate the traffic regulations, the Designated Driver should inform and refuse". Of course, the operator should not charge additional fees under a disguise of any form, or unilaterally change, arbitrarily terminate or rescind the contract.

The DCP also emphasizes that "Don’t Drink and Drive" is the best way to protect the safety of the drunk and others. For the reference of consumers, some municipalities and county (city) governments have also posted on their websites some DDS information such as the name list of DDS operators, their charging standards, etc. With the announcement and implementation of the DDS regulations, it is hoped that people who drink can have one more option to return home safely without driving; the safety of all pedestrians can be protected and unnecessary regrets can be avoided.