The Portsmouth Police Department has launched a responsible drinking social marketing campaign in an effort to educate those out on the town in Portsmouth about how to safely enjoy themselves. The “Think Smart. Drink Safe.” campaign, which is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation launched by a police department, was developed by a UNH justice studies graduate student Adam Gaudreault and deployed with assistance from The Atom Group of Portsmouth.
Gaudreault has been interning at the Portsmouth Police Department as part of his justice studies program requirements.
“The Downtown Hospitality Association had requested a way to share responsible drinking messages with their patrons. The association’s members had found that their patrons believed that if they simply did not drive home, they would be okay. They did not understand that responsible drinking involves more than just not drinking and driving,” Gaudreault said.
In response to the association’s request, Portsmouth Police Chief David “Lou” Ferland asked Gaudreault to research whether QR codes on drink coasters would be an effective way to get out the message of responsible drinking. The project took off from there, with Gaudreault researching the best practices of social marketing campaigns and responsible drinking messaging, and then developing the campaign and prototype for the drink coasters with QR codes.
For Gaudreault, who plans a career in law enforcement after he graduates in September, his internship with the Portsmouth Police Department and work on the “Think Smart. Drink Safe.” campaign has been life changing.
“I have always been drawn to the community aspect of policing, which is why I was drawn to this project. I had thought I would go into the investigative side of law enforcement, but this experience has shown me the importance of the community relations side of policing,” Gaudreault said.