JEFFERSON CITY - There were 127 DUIs issued and 117 drug arrests by Missouri State Highway Patrol over Thanksgiving weekend. But the Missouri Department of Transportation is using their own vehicles to promote sober driving.
MoDot has joined Mothers Against Drunk Driving in promoting sober driving by tying red ribbons on all its fleet cars statewide.
The ribbons represent a pledge to not drive impaired, and instead to find other means of transportation when alcohol or other substances are being used. MADD's State Coordinator of Court Monitoring, Bud Balke, said both MoDOT and Missouri State Highway Patrol have ribbons attached to their car antennas or mirrors.
"We really appreciate the kind of support we get from MoDOT and from the Missouri Highway Patrol," Balke said.
MADD is asking people in the community to tie red ribbons on their cars to support the cause.
“We're honored to join in this safety initiative,” MoDOT Highway Safety Director Bill Whitfield said. “Historically, holiday travel is a deadly time on our nation’s roadways.”
According to a press release from MoDOT, 219 people were killed and 666 seriously injured in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver in 2016.
"Please don't consider even driving while impaired, go ahead and call a friend, call a neighbor, call a coworker, you can use Lyft, you can use Uber," Balke said.
Balke said its the longest running campaign that MADD has in regards to stopping impaired driving.
"It's been a project that our volunteers really love to get involved with and the public really likes to show that support that they just don't believe in drunk driving," Balke said.
He said the highway patrol and MoDOT both receive about 3,000 ribbons each. He said police departments and many school districts across the state request ribbons as well.
Victims of drunk driving crashes often leave their ribbons on all year long.
"They do that to immortalize the loved one that was killed in a crash, but it symbolizes to them that they want people to know their not drinking and driving too," Balke said.
Balke said if you want ribbons to call or visit the Central Missouri MADD office.