Wednesday, April 16, 2014 · 5:52 p.m.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is pairing with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to raise awareness about drinking safety during holiday celebrations. 

Now in its 27th year, Tie One on for Safety is MADD's signature public awareness program that urges partygoers to designate a nondrinking driver. This year, state troopers will display red ribbons on all patrol cars as a reminder to plan ahead.  

"We hope as motorists travel across Tennessee this holiday season, they will see the red ribbons on THP patrol cars and be reminded of our continuous efforts to reduce the number of impaired drivers on our roads," THP Col. Tracy Trott said in a prepared statement. "Though we want to encourage this practice every day of the year, we’re here today because drunk driving deaths typically rise over the holidays."

Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve 2011 (the most recent year that national data is available for), 931 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Twenty-eight of those people were killed in Tennessee.

So far this year, approximately 198 people have died in alcohol-impaired crashes. A total of 295 died in 2012 because of crashes related to drunken driving. 

Troopers will be out in force later this month as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign. 

Citizens who would like red ribbons can contact MADD Tennessee.

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