In the Doghouse

Delivering Alcohol-Related Harm to Student Doorsteps


August 27, 2013

Just in time for the new school year, online startup is marketing its product: hand-delivery of alcohol to college students on demand. The company currently targets students at the University of Central Florida (with plans to expand statewide) to shop online for a variety of beer, wine, and spirits including 24-packs of beer and large kegs.

To complete their orders, students enter their dorm room or housing location and their alcohol will be delivered shortly at all hours of the night. The delivery zone (AKA the DrinkDriving Battlefield or Blast Zone) is the UCF campus, extending outward 6 miles from the center.

According to CEO Jeffrey Nadel, if students run out of alcohol at a party, they can keep the party going without having to get behind the wheel of a car and go to the liquor store. A group just needs a single person age 21 or older to accept the order, and an entire party - fraternity, sorority, residential life, student organization, or any group -  can continue binging all through the night. As the company's tagline says: Alcohol to your doorstep.

To make matters worse, claims that because it brings the party to college students, its (student) customers are less likely to drink and drive. 

Misleading and deceptive much? Delivering alcohol to college student's doors is not supported by research showing it decreases DUI, or other alcohol-related harm for that matter. It may actually increase dangerous and/or illegal consumption and unsafe consequences.

It seems DrinkDrivers CEO Nadel may not have noticed, or paid attention to, the real public health data regarding college student drinking. Nationwide, alcohol use is a primary public health problem for college student populations. Death, unintended injuries, various types of violence and assault, sexually transmitted diseases, and academic problems are just some of the most commonly cited alcohol-related harm that college students experience. UCF is definitely not immune to those same issues. Like most colleges and universities, UCF has battled alcohol-related harm for years, and have dedicated efforts to attempt to decrease the harm alcohol causes its students.

Meanwhile, as classes begin and 60,000 UCF students flood the campus, is strongly pushing its delivery service with lots of free swag (free branded koozies, anyone?) and even contests with giveaways such as free bottles of Grey Goose.

As DrinkDrivers states in their marketing, “Yes, this is real. Yes, it really is that easy.”