Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the New York State Thruway Authority have kicked off an anti-DWI red ribbon campaign.

The initiative will run from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 to give drivers a gentle reminder to "Drive Safely, Stay Sober" this holiday season. As part of the anti-DWI campaign, MADD will hand out red ribbons to drivers at certain toll facilities that are located along Interstate 90.

This campaign was started by MADD in 1986 to create public awareness on the perils of impaired driving. The Annual Red Ribbon initiative is in its 28th year, encouraging drivers to stay responsible and drive safely, wear seatbelts, and stay sober even as they ring in the New Year.

"We're handing out over 150,000 red ribbons at four different toll booths in New York State," said Elizabeth Obad, president of MADD's local chapter. She lost his 26-year-old son in an accident in 1994 owing to a drunk driver's negligence.

The red ribbons will be given to motorists in the following locations, as well as several thruway service points.

- Plaza 55 (Lackawanna)

- Plaza 17 (Newburgh)

- Plaza 36 (Watertown, Binghamton)

- Plaza 39 (Syracuse, I-690)

- Plaza 24 (Albany)

- Plaza 17 (Newburgh)

- Plaza B3 (Canaan, Mass Pike)

- Plaza 34A (Syracuse, I-481)

- Plaza 15 (Woodbury)

- Plaza 46 (Rochester, Corning)

According to recent statistics revealed by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the deaths related to alcohol-impaired driving were reduced by 2.5 percent in 2013. These deaths make up 31 percent of the total traffic fatalities.

Every year, motorists lose their lives owing to inebriated drivers who drive recklessly and injure others. MADD, for its part, says over 10,000 people were killed in drunk driving-related incidents in the past year. The group insists that the issue is not simply a "thing of the past."

Apart from handing out red ribbons, Thruway Authority will also put up "Drive Safely, Stay Sober" on message boards until New Year's day.

The campaigners hope that red ribbons will serve as a reminder to passing cars, urging people to think before driving if they are inebriated.

"If you plan on drinking, please get a ride and don't get behind the wheel," said New York state police superintendent Joseph D'Amico. "This campaign is about raising awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving and how this behavior could be deadly."

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