Washington area business and government leaders joined yesterday to launch their second annual campaign to keep drunk drivers off the streets during the holiday season.
The Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the campaign sponsors, said they will use direct mail, milk cartons and television public service announcements to deliver the message that "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk."
This year's campaign includes a regionwide crackdown on holiday drinking and driving with police operating "sobriety checkpoints" in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Fairfax City and the District of Columbia and stepped-up selective enforcement throughout the region.
In addition, the campaign features:
* Free cab rides for people who have had too much to drink. Washington area cab companies, with backup assistance from the American Automobile Association, are providing the 24-hour service from now to Jan. 2 for those who call 522-FREE.
* Public service announcements on radio and television, ads in newspapers and displays on milk cartons that feature such campaign themes as "Three Ways to Keep Your Friends Alive: Drive Them Home, Have Them Sleep Over or Call 522-FREE."
* Direct mail to Washington area employers urging them to discourage drinking and driving among the region's 1.7 million workers. "The Corporate Guide for Curbing Drunk Driving" suggests that food and nonalcoholic alternatives be offered at all social functions where alcohol will be served.
Those helping launch the campaign were Roger R. Blunt, trade board vice president; Rep. Michael D. Barnes (D-Md.), sponsor of National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Week, Dec. 9-15; Peter J. Larkin, WRAP chairman and director; Dr. Donald Devine, director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and Kit Pardee, a member of the Montgomery County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Officials said they hope to repeat the Washington area's 1983 holiday record in which there were no alcohol-related traffic deaths or injuries during the Christmas-New Year's period. They also reported that alcohol-related deaths in the Washington area dropped 22 percent this year, while there was a slight increase of about 1 percent nationwide.