HONOLULU – As we approach the holiday season, a time when people may be celebrating at events where alcohol is served, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Hawaii urges adults to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver, especially as drunk driving deaths typically spike over the holidays. In fact, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve in 2017, 1,143 people were killed in drunk driving crashes nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In all of 2017, 42 people were killed in Hawaii in alcohol-related traffic crashes, which is 39% of the total traffic fatalities for that year.
MADD’s “Tie One On For Safety” red ribbon campaign is the organization’s signature public awareness program. Drivers across the country display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a reminder to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver.
The campaign will launch with a kick-off event on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Tamarind Park in Downtown Honolulu from noon to 1 p.m.
“We want everyone to be safe on the roads year-round and especially during the holiday season, a time when many celebrations include alcoholic beverages,” said Kathy Weldon, Board Chair for MADD Hawaii. “Drunk driving crashes increase around this time of the year, the solution is simple: plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver if you’re going to drink alcohol.”
Other community partners have joined in to support MADD’s annual campaign, including DTRIC Insurance.
“It’s important for DTRIC to support campaigns like MADD’s Tie One On For Safety as we all have a role to play in keeping our island roads safe,” said Michele Saito, CEO and President of DTRIC Insurance. “We encourage everyone to be good examples for their friends, family and colleagues. If you’re going out to celebrate, designate a non-drinking driver, take a cab or call a ride-sharing company. If you’re hosting a gathering, be sure to have non-alcoholic beverage options for your guests.”
The red ribbons also signify support for law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving includes support for these types of high-visibility law enforcement efforts, along with support for use of ignition interlocks for arrested drunk drivers, and for research into technology that could prevent a drunk driver from operating the vehicle.
MADD’s Tie One On For Safety red ribbons are available statewide at the following locations: Aloha Island Marts, Foodland Stores, Napa Auto Parts Hawaii, and Macy’s Ala Moana store.
For more information about the national campaign, visit www.madd.org.