Linda Chapman, president of the Dubuque/Jackson County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says their message is simple and unwavering. Chapman says, “If you drink, make choices ahead of time and make sure that you do not endanger others on the highway.” Despite the rise in transportation options in recent years, like the use of ride sharing apps like Uber, the number of drunk driving deaths has continued to rise.
“People do not make good choices and they lose their intelligence to a great degree,” Chapman says. “They get more brave and they think, ‘Oh, I can do it, I’m not drunk,’ when in fact, they are.” MADD and Uber are partnering for a campaign called “Reasons to Ride,” encouraging everyone to forget the excuses and get home safely — whether it’s a bus, a designated driver or requesting an Uber. Kayla Whaling, a spokeswoman for Uber, says there’s no excuse to drive impaired and endanger others on the roads.
“There’s tons of transportation options available,” Whaling says, “and we want to remind them to plan ahead, leave their car keys behind and know how they plan on getting home before they leave the house.” If you don’t already have the Uber app on your smartphone, Whaling suggests downloading it before heading out to holiday get-togethers, or exploring other public transportation alternatives. She says Uber is dedicated to safety.
“We do provide all of this information when you request a trip which includes: the make and model of the vehicle, the driver’s name, the driver’s photo and the license plate,” Whaling says. “We encourage everyone to check that information prior to getting into the car, just to make sure they’re getting into the right car.”
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds 44%of traffic fatalities on certain days between Christmas and New Year’s Day are caused by drunk driving.