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Vietnam is a country of focus for the Self-Regulation and Drink Driving initiatives of Global Actions on Harmful Drinking.

Vietnam is a low-income Asian country with a population of over 90 million people as of 2011, making it the world’s 13th most populous country. The country has long suffered from high levels of income inequality and disparities in healthcare provision, but has seen steady economic growth since 2000.

Similar to many low-income countries, information on responsible alcohol consumption in Vietnam has been limited. A national survey estimates an average consumption of more than 64g per person per day, greatly exceeding the defined limit for hazardous consumption (40g/day for men and 20g/day for women, according to WHO’s Drinking and driving – an international good practice manual). The death rate on Vietnam's roads is one of the highest in the world, with drink driving a significant factor in this. A recent quantitative survey showed that 78% of males and 80% of females reported driving/riding after drinking.

Self-Regulation: In collaboration with local partners and the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA), ICAP has disseminated the EASA Guide & Alcohol Module in Vietnam. We are working closely with beverage alcohol producers in the country to: build consensus about the need for self-regulation and codes that are customized for each market; offer training to industry members, trade associations, advertising agencies, regulatory bodies, and the media; and provide monitoring as deemed useful by local stakeholders. As part of this effort, ICAP provided the Vietnam Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Association (VBA) with commentary on a VBA Code of Commercial Communications. The code was adopted for the beer industry in May 2010.

Following the launch of Marketing Code for Beer Industry in May 2010, ICAP and VBA collaboratively developed a draft marketing code for Spirit and Wine Industry in September 2011. The Code is now being revised and is expected to launch in 2012.

Background: In Vietnam, the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism is responsible for the regulation of advertising for alcohol beverages. The VBA code does not intend to replace relevant national laws or policies but, rather, serves as a common guide for best practice in the area of responsible brand communications for members of the VBA. ICAP will be collaborating with the VBA to raise awareness of the code and support its implementation and compliance.

Drink Driving: After conducting initial discussions with international partners, ICAP developed capacity-building modules in preparation for pilot training that was conducted in Vietnam in February 2010. An international, cross-functional senior advisory group assisted ICAP in designing the initiative and training events launched in the latter part of 2010. In addition, ICAP has briefed local operating companies and the local Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) office on its efforts in the region, and conducted briefings with senior government officials in the Ministry of Transportation, National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), and Vietnam Road and Railway Traffic Police Administration (C67).

Global Actions identified Da Nang as the site for a pilot project to curb drink driving in Vietnam. The urban district of Hai Chau and the rural district of Hoa Vang were chosen as intervention sites for the Global Actions effort. Quang Nam has been selected to be the control province. Working closely with the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) and the Da Nang City Traffic Safety Council, ICAP held launch events, capacity-building workshops, study tours, evaluation, and campaign 1 (combination of Education and Enhanced enforcement ) in 2011.

ICAP also partners with MOT’s Traffic Safety Department and Directorate for Roads of Vietnam (DRVN), as well as Dac Lac Provincial DOT and Khanh Hoa Provincial DOT to develop and implement the Bus Driver Project to support Resolution 88 of the GOVN. Under the terms of the Resolution, bus drivers who test positive for BAC levels at bus stations will not be permitted to perform their duties. Drink Don’t Drive Public Awareness campaigns and enforcement will be implemented at designated bus stations through February 2012. ICAP and Industry sponsors of this work have been acknowledged by MOT leadership as the first partners to support the implementation of Resolution 88. After the pilot phase, this model will be under consideration for expansion nationwide.

Background: As with many other low-income economies, Vietnam is coping with growing motorization rates and an increasing number of road traffic crashes. The Government of Vietnam has made the reduction of road deaths and injuries a high priority. In particular, the government recently introduced mandatory helmet laws and is implementing a program of action to raise awareness and improve enforcement of the drink driving legislation for both motorcyclists and drivers (per Resolution 88/ ND-CP dated August 24, 2011). ICAP will be supporting government officials, other road safety organizations, and the private sector to enhance professional and institutional capacity to tackle drink driving in Vietnam.