Unique vehicle designed to prevent drunken driving wins national advertising award

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Madison, Wisc. (NEWS RELEASE) -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s "Choose Your Ride" vehicle, which is half State Patrol cruiser and half taxi, always gets plenty of attention on the highway and at public events. Now, it’s also a national award winning advertisement that warns of the dangers—and expense—of drunken driving.

At the American Advertising Federation’s 2014 National ADDY Awards on May 30, the Choose Your Ride vehicle won a Silver ADDY for second place in the Public Service—Non-Traditional category. Previously, it won a Gold ADDY and Best of Show awards in the regional competition in Minneapolis in April and another Gold ADDY in the Madison and Milwaukee competition in February.

The vehicle is a high-mileage cruiser that the State Patrol could no longer use for patrolling highways and was destined for auction. The State Patrol’s Bureau of Transportation Safety used $1,700 in federal funding for the design and application of the vehicle markings. The distinctive vehicle hit the road in June 2013 and appeared at 35 events last year.

"Based on public reaction and now the national ADDY award, we feel that the Choose Your Ride vehicle is a memorable way to remind drivers about the expense of drunken driving and the benefit of using alternative transportation if they’re impaired," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Of course, the real expense of drunk driving can’t be measured in dollars since alcohol-related crashes needlessly kill and seriously injure far too many people. We're striving to get that message across in a variety of ways, and the Choose Your Ride vehicle is part of that strategy."

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