Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) is partnering with local businesses to curb alcohol-impaired driving during the holiday season. ABS is distributing beverage coasters that feature a QR code directing patrons to an online list of alternative rides to get home safely when drinking. Imprinted with the phrase “Had one too many? Scan for Ride,” the coasters are being distributed free of charge to bars and restaurants. The goal is to provide an easily accessible list of alternative rides to patrons and deter them driving after they have been drinking.
The online list that can be accessed from the coaster QR code features contact information for vehicle-for-hire services such as taxicabs, Uber and Lyft, as well as local public transportation. It also includes the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s SoberRide discount ride program for selected holidays.
“As people get ready to celebrate the holiday season, we encourage them to make a plan for a safe ride home if they decide to drink” said Kathie Durbin, ABS Director. “Drunk driving is a threat to our community and keeping our community safe is everyone’s responsibility.”
Nationally, drunk-driving-related crashes spike during the holiday season, particularly the day before Thanksgiving. “Blackout Wednesday” (also known as “Drinksgiving”) refers to binge drinking on the night before the Thanksgiving holiday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2015-19, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes nationally on Thanksgiving Eve were alcohol-impaired. Businesses that would like to request beverage coasters to participate in the initiative can email ABSLicensing@MontgomeryCountyMD.gov.
ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits for Montgomery County and operates 26 retail stores throughout the County. In addition, ABS manages alcohol licensing, enforcement and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, its profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars. Follow ABS on Facebook and Twitter.