Alcohol and driving are a lethal combination. Don’t do it. Be responsible this holiday season  – and every day.

This is the sobering advice of Jeff Milliken, MD at Diageo South Africa. “Step up and drive sober or get a sober person to do the driving,” he says.

Alcohol giant Diageo is putting its Drive Dry campaign into top gear for the Easter holiday break reminding everyone of the very real danger of drunk driving.

Road deaths peak around Easter and the year-end festive season

Last year 156 people died on South Africa’s roads over Easter. More than 1 700 people died on the roads over the festive season. Many thousands more were injured.

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Diageo’s Drive Dry campaign is impactful and hits hard. “We market and sell alcohol,” says Milliken, “but we are all too aware of the devastating effects of alcohol abuse and drunk driving. Hence, responsibility is a hefty component of our marketing and advertising.”

Last year’s Drive Dry campaign, ‘Pappa Wag vir Jou’ won multiple awards and has been viewed more than 50 000 times on YouTube.

The present Drive Dry campaign features people living with the consequences of drunk driving: people who have lost family members in drunk drive crashes; people who live with severe disabilities because of drunken drivers; and people who drove drunk and wrought horrific damage on themselves and others.

“These are stories to remember this Easter when you get behind the wheel,” Milliken says. “Drunk driving must stop. We want people to talk about it, hear the message and make it a way of life. We want to end the hurt and horror.

“It’s equally as unacceptable to be a drunk pedestrian. Pedestrians are already incredibly vulnerable on the roads. Don’t risk your life further by walking drunk.”

It’s equally as unacceptable to be a drunk pedestrian. Pedestrians are already incredibly vulnerable on the roads. Don’t risk your life further by walking drunk

Responsible alcohol use means understanding that alcohol impairs judgement and dulls response times. It means understanding that if you’re out for a good time, you can’t get behind the wheel and drive, and you can’t walk home. You can’t do these things if you want to be assured of waking up alive and well the next morning.

“Be responsible. Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking and don’t drink if you’re going to be driving. Get a sober person to take you home. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do,” he says.

Everyone can follow the conversation, tell their own stories, watch the video clips, and share the Drive Dry message with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter @DriveDry #ThisIsMyStory.