Super Bowl Sunday is always a good day to stay off the roads — too many drunks out there who celebrated too hard before, during, and after the game. Tostitos will not be one of the high profile advertisers this year. Instead, it has partnered with MADD and Uber in an effort to keep people who have had too much to drink to not drive but to call Uber for a discounted ride home after the game. Uber has gotten some negative publicity lately because of its failure to support the protesters of Trump’s immigrant ban at various airports. But it deserves kudos for taking action to curb drunk driving.
The campaign actually has two parts. In the first, Tostitos will distribute special bags to selected bars, taverns, and road houses. The bags are black and have a blue circle on the front.When a patron blows into one, the circle either turns green, indicating that person is safe to drive, or it changes to a red steering wheel and the word’s “Don’t Drink And Drive” appear. It will also flash an a code that can be used to get a discount on an Uber ride home.
“We wanted to make sure that as people were celebrating, they were also partying responsibly,” says Jennifer Saenz, chief marketing officer for Tostitos maker Frito-Lay. “We thought it was an opportunity to begin a conversation with consumers about drinking and driving, and about responsibility, in a really fun and engaging way.” The bags are not available to the general public and they are not full fledged blood alcohol detectors, but they do give an indication of whether a person has a detectable odor of alcohol on his or her breath.
Part two of the scheme (or Part Deux if you are Elon Musk) doesn’t involve a breath test. Instead, Tosititos has distributed 25,000 specially marked bags that have a code on them good for $10 off any Uber fare. Details are found on the Tostitos website. The code will not be active until after the New England Patriots have defeated the Atlanta Falcons.
Tostitos and Uber deserve applause for doing this. Drunk driving is still one of the primary causes of automobile accidents and highway deaths. The hours after a Super Bowl game are especially fraught with danger. Why car companies and tech firms haven’t come up with a way to reduce drunk driving yet is a great mystery. We have cars that can bounce radar signals under the car ahead to see what’s happening down the road. How difficult could it be to design some form of breath sniffer?
Maybe it doesn’t need to immobilize the car, but it could beep the horn and flash the lights continuously while someone with alcohol on the breath is behind the wheel. In a perfect world, a red strobe light would pop up from the roof to warn other drivers and attract attention from the police. Elon and his minions could cobble together such a system over morning coffee. Why has no one thought to do this? Are they afraid of alienating the drunk drivers in the world?
This should be a federal mandate. It would be one regulation even Donald Trump would support.
Source: USA Today