HINGHAM (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Police in Hingham are giving those who pledge to celebrate responsibly this holiday season a special spot on their nice list.
The department is asking eastern Mass. residents to take their pledge to either be a designated driver or use a designated driver during this holiday season. In return, participants over the age of 21 will be entered to win a night out in a limousine that fits up to 10 people.
"To take the pledge itself; the online pledge takes about 45 seconds. So it's real quick, short time span, but it makes you think of the word ‘designated driver' when you type in, and it may translate into a thought down the road when you're going out with your friends," Hingham Police Sgt. Steven Dearth told FOX 25's Crystal Haynes.
Granted there is a prize, but the message is the same.
"Get it right, win a night."
The department decided to be proactive, instead of reactive, when they implemented the program in 2002 after a family of six was struck head on by a drunk driver on Thanksgiving evening.
Dr. Robert Driscoll, Director of the South Shore Hospital's trauma unit, says the holidays can be one of the scariest times of the year. The hospital trauma unit sees a significant spike in drunk driving accidents around Christmas and New Year's Day and the Fourth of July.
"More than half of the fatalities and half of the motor vehicle crashes that cause injury involve an impaired driver in one sense or another. So if we can eliminate these injuries to start with, our job is a lot easier," Dr. Driscoll said.
Some restaurants in Hingham are also getting in on the pledge by offering free, non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers.
Those looking to participate can enter up until Jan. 2.
Police in Hingham hope the program will help to spread awareness about drunk driving and the importance of using designated drivers during the holiday season. They explain in the contest rules that a designated driver is someone who agrees not to drink any alcoholic beverages throughout the night, not the person who is the "most sober" at the end of the night.
To learn more: http://www.hpd.org/DoitRightWinANight.aspx