CDOT asks drivers to leave the keys behind and “Decide to Ride”

Traffic Safety Pulse News

May 24, 2022 – The country’s leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s largest drunk driving victim services and advocacy nonprofit, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and ridesharing platform, Uber, announced they are partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to help prevent drunk driving in Denver and across the state this summer.

Colorado historically sees an increase in fatal crashes during the summer. Kicking off on Memorial Day and extending through Labor Day, the public-private partnership with CDOT will encourage consumers to end alcohol-impaired driving by planning ahead for a safe ride all summer long. With increased risks of drunk driving during the summer holidays, this joint effort is critical for raising awareness and promoting road safety by providing ridesharing opportunities to prevent drunk driving. Decide to ride

“This partnership couldn't come at a better time — impaired driving deaths are increasing in Colorado. So far this year, 72 people have been killed in impaired driving crashes in the state. That's twice as many since the 36 in 2019. These are preventable tragedies," said CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety Director Darrell Lingk. "Over the last decade, more than 57% of the Memorial Day weekend fatalities involved suspected impaired driving. We're hopeful the Decide to Ride initiative slows this dangerous trend."

“With Memorial Day weekend signaling the start of summer, it is important that we do our part to ensure that Coloradans enjoy a safe, fun season. That’s why I’m excited to support the joint effort of Anheuser-Busch, MADD and Uber to encourage everyone to do their part to bring an end to drunk driving.” said Colorado State Senator Dominick Moreno. “The public-private partnership with this coalition gives us all one more way to get home safely this holiday weekend. Please remember, if you drink, don’t drive. Decide to ride.”

“A car can be lethal – especially when there’s an impaired driver behind the wheel. I’m grateful to this coalition for protecting Colorado families by pushing to end alcohol-impaired driving,” said Representative Jason Crow. “Let’s each do our part by talking to our friends and family about finding a safe ride home.”

Anheuser-Busch, MADD and Uber joined forces and launched the Decide to Ride campaign in September 2021 as part of a groundbreaking first-of-its-kind coalition aimed at bringing an end to drunk driving .

The Decide to Ride campaign focuses on driving behavior change by connecting with consumers before they even take that first sip – “ because you can’t drive drunk, if you don’t drive there.” Consumers who are aware of the campaign are over 40 percent more likely to use a ridesharing app to avoid alcohol-impaired driving, according to early internal campaign research developed by the coalition.

Building on last year’s launch, Anheuser-Busch, MADD and Uber are partnering with CDOT and additional local sponsorship partners to bring the campaign to life this summer through digital creative, print and out-of-home advertising, promotions at local events including the food festival, ‘Chicken Fight,’ at Elitch Gardens, and signage at retailers sharing a key message for consumers – “If You Drink, Don’t Drive. Decide to Ride.

“At Anheuser-Busch, we are unwavering in our longstanding commitment to drunk driving prevention. During the summer months, this commitment is more important than ever due to the increased risks of drunk driving as consumers raise a glass with family and friends,” said Colleen Lucas, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Anheuser-Busch . “By continuing our Decide to Ride campaign with the Colorado Department of Transportation and reminding consumers of the importance of planning ahead for a safe ride when you’re drinking, we’re confident our joint effort will help create a safer future for all. This Memorial Day, we’re eager to continue making strides toward ending alcohol-impaired driving in Colorado and across the country.”

 We at MADD have spent over four decades encouraging people to always plan ahead when plans include alcohol, whether it’s a non-drinking friend or family member, rideshare, public transportation or a taxi, to make sure everyone gets home safely,” said MADD National President Alex Otte. “As we take a moment over Memorial Day weekend to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation, we can keep our communities and our families safe by making the right choice – if you drink, don’t drive. We are proud to partner with the Colorado Department of Transportation on the Decide to Ride campaign.”

“At Uber, we’re proud to be part of the solution to end drunk driving,” said Kristin Smith, Head of Road Safety Policy at Uber. “With so many transportation alternatives, there’s no excuse for getting behind the wheel intoxicated, and we’re thrilled to work with CDOT to bring the Decide to Ride campaign back to Colorado this summer. As residents get ready to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, there is no better time to remind everyone to leave their keys at home and make a plan if they decide to drink.”

The Heat Is On high visibility enforcement period over Memorial Day resulted in 95 arrests across 82 law enforcement agencies.