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Peas and guac? Odd Arizona highway message aims to stop drunk driving

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation decided to have fun with its anti-drinking-and-driving message this Thanksgiving.

“In Arizona we know our guacamole,” Doug Pacey, spokesman for ADOT said, “and to each their own, of course, but I don’t know anyone who puts peas in their guacamole.”

“Drinking and driving go together like peas and guac” appeared over an Arizona highway on Wednesday, causing many to scratch their heads at the strange analogy. 

The background: The New York Times published a recipe for guacamole using peas this past July and the entire nation was sent into an outrage, including President Barack Obama.

Local and national media alike picked up the story, including Washington Post and Eater. The New York Times reporter responsible for peas in guacamole, Sam Sifton and the social editor, Michael Gold even saw the sign and joked with the ADOT Twitter account about it.

But ADOT decided to use this analogy to spark a different type of outrage: One that would get people to think before drinking and driving this holiday season.

“We want to grab people’s attention and make them engaged with the message that drunk driving can kill,” Pacey said. “It’s a humorous kind of message up there but it’s getting people talking about impaired driving and if that helps people have a conversation about it, especially younger drivers, that’s fantastic.”

For those who have one drink too many, Triple-A of Arizona is offering a free tow service to tow home the driver, up to one passenger and their vehicle for up to 10 miles.

Hopefully the analogy is just strange enough to resonate with you before you decide to get behind the wheel.

If you want to see more of the national attention ADOT’s sign is gaining, check out the Storify on their website.

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