MADD to Kick Off Drunk Driving Awareness Campaign

November 9, 2019, 10:15 AM HST
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With the holiday season quickly approaching, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Hawai‘i are reminding the community about the dangers of impaired driving and how to avoid these tragedies.

MADD Hawai‘i’s “Tie One On for Safety” campaign will being kicking off on Nov. 14. The signature campaign is meant to make public aware of safe driving this time of year. Drivers across the country display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a promise to plan ahead and designate a non-drinking driver.

A campaign kick-off will take place at Tamarind Park in Downtown Honolulu from noon to 1 p.m. Honolulu City and County Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments and other first responders are scheduled to attend the event. Melissa Lau, the wife of Dr. Travis Lau who was killed in the tragic Kaka’ako crash in January, will share her thoughts.

“MADD Hawai‘i has been asking drivers to attach our ribbons to their vehicles for 33 years of its 35-year history in the state,” said MADD Hawaii founder Carol McNamee. “The red ribbon has become the iconic reminder for people to think ahead before getting behind the wheel. Visible on many vehicles, the ribbons may have been a factor in the significant decrease in Hawaii’s alcohol-related fatalities over the years.”

According to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are generally more vehicle traffic crash fatalities during the holiday season due to more alcohol use, increased travel time on roadways and excessive speeding.


Last year, 432 people died on Thanksgiving in car crashes nationwide, with another 1,087 killed between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to NHTSA, with many of those collisions being alcohol-related.


In all of 2018, 35 people in Hawai‘i died in alcohol-related crashes, or 30% of the total traffic fatalities for last year.

The red ribbons also signify support for law enforcement officers, who will be out in force as part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Other community partners have joined in to support MADD’s annual campaign, including Toyota Hawaii, DTRIC Insurance and Uber.

“We want everyone to be safe on our roads year-round and especially during the holiday season, a time when many celebrations include alcoholic beverages,” said Theresa Paulette, Victim Services Specialist for MADD Hawai‘i. “Drunk driving crashes increase around this time of year; The solution is simple: plan ahead for a non-drinking designated driver if you’re going to drink alcohol.”


MADD’s Tie One On for Safety red ribbons are available statewide at the following locations: Toyota Hawaii showrooms and sales lots, Napa Auto Parts locations, Foodland stores, Zippy’s restaurants, Aloha Island Marts, Macy’s Ala Moana store, and the Office of the Mayor at Honolulu Hale.

For more information about this year’s statewide campaign, visit

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