Be a SANTA by being a designated driver Photograph courtesy of Josh Thompson Photograph courtesy of Josh Thompson

A Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver...


Drunk driving remains one of the top causes of traffic deaths in South Carolina. During the Christmas and New Year’s season, the danger increases because more people – including those who don’t drink regularly – risk driving impaired following holiday celebrations.

To help combat drunk driving during the holidays, the SC Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) launched a campaign in the Columbia area to encourage designated driving. The “Be a SANTA! A Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver” campaign kicks off December 1, 2011 and ends January 1, 2012.

Be a SANTA is designed to complement enforcement activities and safe ride services, such as those provided by taxi companies. The Columbia market will act as a pilot program for the campaign during the 2011-2012 holiday season. With the cooperation of the SC Hospitality Association and its Columbia-area members, Be a SANTA will reach out to patrons of restaurants and bars with a message that is fun and potentially life-saving.

Be a SANTA emphasizes the importance of designated drivers choosing ahead of time to remain alcohol-free all night long. The message is simple: Be a SANTA and give the gift of a safe ride home.

Be a SANTA Campaign Components

Paid Media

The Be a SANTA campaign includes a television spot in which a restaurant patron becomes a Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver to ensure his friends get a safe ride home. The ad, which features a cast of SCDPS employees, will air on stations in the Columbia market. Cast members include officers from the Highway Patrol and State Transport Police, as well as civilians from various divisions. The ad was produced by Fisher Communications of Columbia. The campaign also includes digital billboards in the area.

SC Hospitality Association

Participating members in the Columbia area will feature table top displays promoting the program. While supplies last, a SANTA will be provided a sticker to identify himself or herself as a designated driver. At some establishments, a SANTA will receive a free non-alcoholic drink. If your bar or restaurant would like to take advantage of the publicity and participate in the Be a SANTA designated driver program to encourage responsible holiday activities, please CLICK HERE to learn more from the SC Hospitality Association.

Facts On DUI-Related Collisions In South Carolina

Alcohol and/or drug related traffic collisions are responsible for a large portion of reported traffic collisions each year. In South Carolina, it is inferred that you are under the influence when your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reaches a level of 0.08. According to data from the SCDPS’ Office of Highway Safety, driving under the influence of alcohol was cited in 377 – 42 percent – of the 894 traffic fatalities reported in 2009 – the latest figures available. State and local law enforcement agencies in South Carolina are involved in a sustained DUI enforcement campaign effort, which includes a major mobilization for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. The Be a SANTA campaign will complement this effort.

You Can Be a SANTA

You can Be a SANTA. Be the one your friends can count on this holiday season. Be the one who doesn’t consume alcoholic beverages or anything else that can impair driving. Don’t let your loved ones drive after they have been drinking alcohol. Give the gift of a safe ride home. Be a SANTA! A Sober All Night Totally Awesome Designated Driver.