Hartford Officials, First Responders, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Urge Partygoers To Not Drink And Drive

An urgent plea for holiday partygoers who drink to let someone else drive them home was made Tuesday by representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Uber, Hartford officials, law enforcement and first responders fearful of more drunk driving deaths.

“This is not just about your safety, it’s about everyone’s safety, it’s about saving lives,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Susan Hendrick, safety spokesperson for Uber Connecticut, said people who have been consuming alcohol must remember that they can get “a reliable ride at the push of a button” by using ride-sharing apps.

“There’s never an excuse to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking,” Hendrick said. She said concerns about drunk driving this holiday season are greater because the past two years have seen an increase in drunk driving-related deaths.

“I pray everyone makes the right choice this holiday season,” said Tina Crosby, a Connecticut woman whose 17-year-old daughter Alexa was killed in 2010 as a result of a drunk driver.

Crosby’s other daughter, Tayler, also attended the news conference in downtown Hartford and said she’s raised about $5,000 for MADD by baking and selling cookies to help in the campaign against drunk driving.

Johanna Krebs, spokesperson for the Connecticut chapter of MADD, said this is the time of year when MADD launches its “Tie One On For Safety” effort. “This is a campaign that reminds people to designate a sober, nondrinking driver” by tying a red ribbon to their vehicle, Krebs said.

Using designated, sober drivers means that people can feel free to enjoy “the holiday season without putting ourselves or others at risk,” Krebs said.

Hartford’s Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley called on people drinking at holiday parties “to plan ahead” for a safe way to get home or to a hotel or friend’s house. He said partygoers can always use a ride-sharing service, taxis, buses or trains rather than driving drunk.

Foley also warned that party hosts who allow drunken guests to drive away “could be held responsible” if the result is a serious crash.

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