FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2023
$40,000 in grants will support public outreach and ride-hailing credits in two states as a safer alternative to driving after drinking or consuming drugs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As we enter the holiday season – a time when impaired driving fatalities rise – the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has again partnered with Lyft and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibliy.org) to provide grants to support statewide initiatives to promote the use of ride-hailing rather than driving after consuming alcohol and/or another impairing substance. The State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) in Maryland and Georgia will each receive $20,000 grants to encourage people to make the responsible decision and leave the driving to someone who is sober.
The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times on the road – and impaired driving is largely to blame. The day before Thanksgiving is even known as “Blackout Wednesday” or “Drinksgiving” by some people who use it as an opportunity to binge drink with friends and family. Between 2017 and 2021, 137 alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve, with drivers aged 21 to 24 accounting for the largest percentage (44%). Nationally, drunk driving deaths have risen a staggering 31% in just two years, increasing from 10,196 in 2019 to 13,384 in 2021.
“The holiday season should be filled with joyous reunions, not tragedy. Sadly, too many families have been shattered by the consequences of someone deciding to drive impaired,” said GHSA CEO Jonathan Adkins. “I’m pleased that GHSA is again teaming up with our long-time partners Lyft and Responsibility.org to help states highlight how impaired driving endangers everyone on the road and provide an incentive to make the responsible choice to hail a ride.”
Research has repeatedly indicated a correlation between an increase in ride-hailing usage and a decrease in drunk driving. A 2023 study that compared ride-hailing and drunk-driving rates in Boston, Worcester and Northampton, Mass., found that DUI arrests decreased by up to 53% following the introduction of rideshare services. This finding aligns with previous studies that showed ride-hailing availability was associated with DUI reductions in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Diego and San Francisco, among others.
Georgia and Maryland will use the grant funding in the following ways:
- The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway of Safety will complement its holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative that conveys the state’s zero-tolerance stance on impaired driving through community engagement and high visibility enforcement. Discounted Lyft rides will be available through a statewide campaign that will start in December and run into the new year, providing drivers the option of a safer ride home if they’ve been consuming alcohol or other impairing substances.
- The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office is building upon its “Be the MAKE A PLAN Driver” campaign, promoting the discounted rides through social media ads and organic postings. The statewide campaign is a call to action for drivers to plan ahead so they have a sober ride home. Maryland will make available 1,000 ride credits, valued at $20 each, beginning Thanksgiving Eve, when data show there is a higher propensity for impaired driving crashes and fatalities.
“Independent studies have shown that Lyft and rideshare have been associated with lowering impaired driving incidents,” said Heather Foster, Head of Federal & International Public Policy at Lyft. “We are grateful to partner with the Governors Highway Safety Association and Responsibility.org for this campaign to help prevent impaired driving and keep our streets safe. This partnership will help more people in Georgia and Maryland make the right choice to ride responsibly this holiday season.”
“Responsibility.org is thrilled to continue our lifesaving work with GHSA and Lyft to provide ride-hailing credits that can incentivize safer choices and help reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads this holiday season,” said Darrin Grondel, Responsibility.org’s Senior Vice President of Traffic Safety. “By providing people with an easy way to be responsible while enjoying themselves, we can help make our roads safer for everyone who uses them.”
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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Visit ghsa.org for more information or find us on Facebook and X/Twitter.
Lyft is one of the largest transportation networks in North America, bringing together rideshare, bikes, and scooters all in one app. We are customer-obsessed and driven by our purpose: getting riders out into the world so they can live their lives together, and providing drivers a way to work that gives them control over their time and money.
Responsibility.org is a national not-for-profit that aims to eliminate drunk driving and work with others to end all impaired driving, eliminate underage drinking, and empower adults to make a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices as part of a balanced lifestyle. Responsibility.org is funded by the following distillers: Bacardi USA, Inc.; Beam Suntory Inc.; Brown-Forman; Campari Group; Constellation Brands; DIAGEO; Edrington, Mast-Jägermeister US, Inc.; Moët Hennessy USA; Ole Smoky, LLC; Pernod Ricard USA; and William Grant & Sons. For more than 30 years, Responsibility.org has transformed countless lives through programs that bring individuals, families, and communities together to inspire a lifetime of responsible alcohol choices. To learn more, please visit Responsibility.org.