MADD Starts Annual 'Tie One On For Safety' Campaign

Today marks the start of Mothers Against Drunk Driving's annual Tie One On For Safety campaign. From now until New Year's Day, MADD is asking Americans to place a MADD ribbon or window decal on their vehicles as a pledge to drive safe, sober, and buckled up during the holidays and throughout the year. MADD says their message includes safety belts because they're the best defense against a drunk driver.

Each year, MADD says, more than 1,000 people typically die between Thanksgiving through New Year's in drunk driving crashes, and more than 2,000 are killed in drunk driving crashes and/or crashes where safety belts were not used.

MADD offers the following safe party tips to help deter drunk driving:

  • Don't rely on coffee to sober up your guests. Only time can make someone sober.
  • Beer and wine are just as intoxicating as hard liquor. A 12-ounce can of beer, a five-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce wine cooler and an ounce and a half of liquor contain the same amount of alcohol.
  • Don't rely on someone's physical appearance to determine if he or she has had too much to drink.
  • Mixers won't help dilute alcohol. Carbonated mixers like club soda or tonic water cause alcohol to be absorbed into a person's system more quickly. Fruit juice and other sweet mixers mask the taste of alcohol and may cause people to drink more.

If a guest is drinking too much, MADD suggests that the host engage him/her in a conversation to slow down the drinking, offer high protein food, offer to make the next drink and use less alcohol, and don't be afraid to insist that they sit out the sipping for awhile or switch to beverages of the non-alcoholic variety, such as sparkling cider instead of a glass of champagne.

Although laws vary from state to state, MADD says party hosts can be held responsible for the costs associated with a drunk driving crash, including medical bills, property damage, and emotional pain and suffering.

For more information, visit www.madd.org.

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