Guinness Announces “Safe Rides Home” Campaign for St. Patrick’s Day

Today three iconic brands – Guinness, Baileys And Bushmills– joined New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to announce a month-long “Safe Rides Home” campaign to promote responsible consumption of alcohol throughout the bracket-busting playoff season, on St. Patrick’s Day and for other festivities throughout the month of March. Now through the end of the month thousands of free taxi, livery car and public transit rides will be given away to legal drinking-age adult consumers, encouraging New Yorkers and visitors to the city to always plan for a designated driver.

Diageo and the DOT launched its first Safe Rides Home program in December 2010 where 78 percent of all debit card transactions from the giveaway took place during a prime celebratory window – between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. – validating Diageo and DOT’s efforts to encourage responsible decision-making among consumers. For this month’s “Safe Rides Home” campaign, free, pre-paid debit cards valued at $18 and single-ride MetroCards will be distributed at select points across the city. The debit cards are redeemable exclusively in the city’s 13,000-plus taxicabs, participating livery car services, MTA, PATH, NJ Transit or other transit-related ticketing machines. Diageo and the DOT will also distribute one-way fare Metro Cards, valued each at $2.25, for use on the New York City subway system as part of this program.

“Safe Rides Home” debit cards and Metro Cards will be distributed throughout March on the following days: Saturday, March 17th – Irish pubs and alumni bars throughout Manhattan. Thursday, March 22nd – Alumni bars in the Bay Ridge and Astoria areas. Saturday, March 31st – Alumni bars throughout Manhattan

“In a city of champions, New York City has many reasons to celebrate, and planning for a safe ride home after the game this basketball tournament season is as important as filling out your brackets,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “After the celebration, the city’s designated drivers – including our taxi drivers and subway operators – make the key assists that get everyone home safely.”

“It is essential that our brands support initiatives like the Department of Transportation’s ‘Safe Rides Home’ program,” said Guy Smith, Diageo Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations. “Brands like GUINNESS®, BAILEYS® and BUSHMILLS® have been and always will be produced for responsible, celebratory consumption, and making sure that a designated driver is in place is part of that responsibility.”

Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, radio personalities and hosts of WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning sports radio show, have teamed up with GUINNESS, BAILEYS, BUSHMILLS and the DOT to emphasize the importance of celebrating responsibly throughout the month of March.

“March has always been a time of year that’s packed with excitement, from St. Patrick’s Day to rivalries being played out on the basketball court,” said Esiason. “This year we are helping GUINNESS, BAILEYS and BUSHMILLS with their partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation for their Safe Rides Home program. They know that success does not come from being off your A-game by taking unnecessary risks, and we couldn’t agree more,” added Carton.

The “Safe Rides Home” campaign is part of DOT’s social-marketing campaign, “You the Man,” which is designed to curb drunk driving in the city encouraging New Yorkers to plan for a designated driver before a fun night out. Adult consumers can download the “You the Man” app, which is available for iPhone and Android users, that assists adult consumers in finding a safe ride home. Download the new Android-version on Android Market/Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. Visit the Web site, www.youthemannyc.org, for more information.

Throughout the month of March, join the NYC Department of Transportation, GUINNESS®, BAILEYS® and BUSHMILLS® by celebrating responsibly and ensuring that a safe ride home is planned for after the festivities.

For additional details about the DOT’s ongoing efforts to enhance safety, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.

About Diageo

Diageo is the world’s leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, wines, and beer categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, J&B, Baileys, Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo is a global company, trading in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at Diageo.com. For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit DRINKiQ.com.

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