12.26 Justification/Recommendation Report: Drunk-Driver Service for Hockey Players (Obj. 5)

As the public relations executive for the Smithville Ice Rockets, a minor league hockey team, you become involved in a number of team problems. Recently, one of the team’s players was driving drunk and injured himself. This accident is an extremely worrisome and painful reminder to the organization that people die in drunk-driving accidents, including players on other professional sports teams who have injured or killed themselves and others

You are well aware of the other consequences of drunk driving. They include negative publicity for the league, a bad example to young fans, distractions that cause lost games, and lower attendance. Drunk driving also results in the possible “release” (jargon in professional sports for firing a player) of players who are cited, which also hurts the team. Additionally, you’re aware that the penalty for drunk-driving vehicular homicide in the team’s home state is up to 15 years in prison.

Team newcomers must take a course about the dangers of alcohol consumption. Course topics include the risk of accidental injury and death, increased danger of violent behavior, and negative effects on player conditioning and performance. Although this course has reduced drunk-driving incidents, some players still drink and drive.

After drinking, players often try to drive themselves home instead of calling a cab or a friend. Although calling a cab seems an easy solution, many players drive expensive cars and don’t want to abandon them by taking a cab or having a friend drive them home. According to designated driver service Zingo,21 not wanting to leave their cars is the top reason people avoid calling cabs or friends. In addition, most drunk drivers arrive home safely despite their hazardous decision to drive drunk, making it more likely that they will do it again. Greg Davis, owner of the Ice Rockets, said that he would rather a player call him in the middle of the night and ask for a ride home after a night of drinking than drive himself.

Mr. Davis asks you to decide whether the team should implement a service to drive its players home when they have been out drinking. He wants you to weigh the pros and cons of implementing the service, by comparing the service to its alternatives: increased education, incentives for players who don’t drive drunk, and stiffer punishment for players who do.

You conduct primary and secondary research, and then categorize your findings into the pros and cons of operating the service.



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