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MADD red ribbons warn against drinking and driving during holidays

(Waymo Photo via Medium)

PHOENIX – More people are killed by drunk drivers between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of the year.

That’s why Mothers Against Drunk Driving asks people each holiday season to adorn their car antennae with red ribbons as part of the group’s Tie One On For Safety campaign.

“Hopefully when we see those ribbons on there as a reminder, people will think twice about getting in a vehicle and drinking and driving,” Jason Frazier, Arizona executive director for MADD, told KTAR News 92.3 FM last week.

This year, MADD is partnering with self-driving car company Waymo to spread the message.

Waymo vehicles being tested in the Valley and other markets as the company prepares to launch of a driverless taxi service will all display MADD red ribbon magnets during the campaign.

“As far as Waymo goes, we’re just thrilled with the technology that’s coming down,” Frazier said. “That’s just going to save more lives.”

In 2017, there were more than 2,000 arrests in Arizona for driving while under the influence over the holiday season.

Frazier said MADD isn’t against drinking and doesn’t want to discourage people from enjoying themselves at holiday get-togethers – as long as they’ve made plans in advance for getting home safely.

“Really the mistake that they make is thinking, ‘I’ll make this plan later on for how I’m going to get home,’” he said.

“And the first thing to go when people are drinking is judgement. … And that’s when those destructive, terrible decisions happen.”

Frazier said that before going out for holiday cheer, people should line up a non-drinking designated driver or have ride-sharing apps set up on their phones.

“We want to make sure people are getting home safe for the holidays,” he said.

While the goal is zero wrecks where alcohol or drugs are a factor, Frazier said his group is prepared to help anybody in an accident caused by an impaired driver.

“Hopefully it doesn’t happen, but if people are involved in impaired-driving crashes and they are victims, MADD is her for them, and we offer a lot of great services,” he said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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