The effort to cut down on drunk driving in South Dakota has gone from the street into the saloon.
“100 Days of Heat” is meant to cut down on traffic accidents during the peak summer months from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The program has already targeted the highways, and now it's moving to the source.
“I just need one for my friend, so I'll give you that one back,” a Rookie’s Bar patron told Eric Majeres as he handed out new coasters to the crowd.
“Are you familiar with the ‘100 Days of Heat’ campaign going on?” Majeres asked another table.
Highway Patrol Troopers statewide have cracked down on speeders, seat belt use, and most importantly drunk driving since the campaign began Memorial Day. Now the state is putting a round reminder on tables at bars from border to border.
“It’s both temperature and moisture sensitive when you put your beer on it and eventually the message appears on the coaster,” Majeres said.
“Usually you're advertising beer. Now you're advertising, 'think before you drink,’” Rookie’s bartender Shawn Larson said.
Larson says, as a bartender, it's a message he can get on board with. That message is as the summer heats up, cool it on the booze or at least have a plan.
“You may go out after work or you may go out with friends never intending to get intoxicated, but it happens,” Majeres said.
The coasters hit 100 bars across South Dakota this week. Officials hope the red reminder makes people consider their options before driving away.
“It’s a creative reminder to catch people's attention to make them think, 'well maybe I have had too much to drink' or 'what can I do to get home safe?'” Majeres said.
“If we can deter a DUI, or an accident, that's the best interest of our customers and that's who we're here for,” Larson said.
The campaign is still on the roads too. Law enforcement officers are using DUI checkpoints, concentration patrols, road checks and saturation points.