Celebrate the Holidays Safely!

MADD Hawaii Celebrates 36 Years of the Designated Driver
Red Ribbons To Be Displayed on Cars for Tie One On for Safety Campaign

The holidays are one of the most dangerous times on our nation’s roadways, with more people traveling, an increased number of festivities where alcohol is served, and a surge in drunk driving. Nearly one-third of all annual traffic deaths occur from Thanksgiving Eve through New Year’s Eve. In 2020 1,133 drunk driving fatalities occurred across the country during this time. Preliminary estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2021 and 2022 indicate a 16-year high in traffic safety deaths largely due to impaired driving, speeding, and not using a seat belt.

MADD Hawaii and co-sponsors Par Hawaii and DTRIC Insurance kicked off its annual Tie One On for Safety red ribbon campaign to remind motorists to drive safely this holiday season and find a designated driver. MADD encourages everyone to show their commitment to keeping themselves and our communities safe by displaying a MADD Tie One On for Safety red ribbon or magnetic decal on their vehicles and by always choosing a non-drinking, unimpaired driver.


Started in 1986, the Tie One On for Safety campaign is MADD’s longest-running public awareness project. The annual holiday campaign encourages drivers across Hawaii and our nation to display MADD red ribbons on their vehicles as a promise to plan ahead and call an Uber or Lyft, use public transportation, or choose a non-drinking, unimpaired friend, or family member to ensure everyone gets home safe.

“For 36 years, the red ribbon has become the iconic reminder for people to think ahead before getting behind the wheel,” said MADD Hawaii founder Carol McNamee. December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. “Whether that means tying a red ribbon onto car antennas like we did in 1986 or placing our newer magnetic red ribbons on cars, the sentiment remains the same: If you drink, don’t drive. Always designate a non-drinking unimpaired driver, call Uber or Lyft, or use public transportation to keep our roads safe.”

“MADD is very concerned about the increase in traffic deaths over the past three years. Said MADD Hawaii Victim Services Specialist Theresa Paulette. “Preliminary traffic fatality data estimates more than 20,000 people were killed on America’s roads in the first half of 2022, a 16-year high largely due to impaired driving, speeding and unbuckled occupants. Drunk driving accounts for about one-third of all traffic deaths, and at this rate the number of drunk driving deaths could exceed 12,000 for the first time in over a decade.”

According to preliminary statistics from the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the number of traffic-related fatalities in Hawaii is at an alarming level, with 103 traffic deaths so far this year, compared to 94 total for last year.

The red ribbons also signify support for law enforcement officers. MADD thanks all law enforcement who will be working harder than ever this holiday season to protect the public from drunk driving through enforcement efforts such as the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Other community partners have joined in to support MADD’s annual campaign, including Par Hawaii, DTRIC Insurance, and Oahu’s traffic safety leaders.

Director of Government & Public Affairs, Par Hawaii
Mike Mishima, Vice President, Claims, DTRIC Insurance







“The tragic death or injury of a family member or friend from a drunk driving incident is both traumatizing and infuriating. Everyone who gets behind the wheel is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the passengers in their vehicle, for other drivers on the road, and pedestrians,” said John Peyton, Par Hawaii’s retail operations manager. “nomnom is partnering with MADD to encourage all our retail customers to take action against drinking and driving, especially during the upcoming holiday season. The MADD ribbon is a symbol of our community’s commitment to drive responsibly and show we care.”

“DTRIC Insurance is honored to partner with MADD Hawaii on its annual Tie One On for Safety campaign. As an insurance company serving the Hawaii community, we have a responsibility to promote traffic safety to prevent senseless accidents and traffic fatalities,” said Takuya Mitsueda, DTRIC Insurance President and CEO. “We encourage drivers to make smart, sensible choices this holiday season to keep our family, friends and colleagues safe during this time of year by not drinking and driving.”

Mitsueda said those hosting events can provide guests non-alcoholic beverage options called Mocktails. Full recipes of Mocktail drinks are available online at www.DTRIC.com/Mocktails.

MADD’s Tie One On for Safety red ribbons are available statewide at the following locations:

  • nomnom convenience stores located at Hele and 76 gas stations
  • Zippy’s restaurants
  • Foodland and Sack and Save
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • Servco Auto Dealerships (Toyota, Lexus, Subaru)
  • County Mayors’ offices



MADD is also asking the public to take the MADD Red Ribbon Challenge and post their commitment on social media to never drink and drive. Be creative with where you Tie One On for Safety and post a photo or video of your MADD Red Ribbon on social media with #RedRibbonChallenge808. Don’t forget to tag MADD Hawaii on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visit www.madd.org/hawaii/-red-ribbon-challenge-808/ for more information about the challenge.