The State’s Attorney’s Office for Charles County (SAO) has relaunched its “Drive Sober” initiative for the third consecutive year. This campaign, running from November 20, 2023, to January 1, 2024, aims to combat the heightened risk of drunk driving during the holiday season, traditionally one of the deadliest periods on the roads.

This year, the SAO is enhancing its approach to encourage safe driving. In an innovative step, the office is providing a special offer for Uber rides. On the eve of Thanksgiving, November 22, 2023, from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day, drivers aged 21 and over can use a unique code for up to $15 off an Uber ride in Charles County. This code, designed to discourage impaired driving, will be available on the SAO’s Drive Sober webpage ( starting at 5 p.m. on November 22. However, it’s important to note that the offer is subject to availability.

Besides the discounted Uber rides, the initiative includes the distribution of rideshare gift cards. These will be available at Colonial Liquors in La Plata, Maryland, but with certain exclusions.

The “Drive Sober” campaign doesn’t stop at offering safe rides home. It also focuses on recognizing responsible behavior, such as designating a sober driver. To this end, the SAO will distribute non-alcoholic drink vouchers to designated drivers. Additionally, over 300 keychain breathalyzers will be handed out to encourage self-monitoring among drivers.

A poignant aspect of the campaign is its use of impactful billboards featuring victims of drunk driving. These include a memorial to Ethan Ruefly, a 3-month-old infant tragically killed by a drunk driver. Another billboard spotlights the stories of Taylor Halbleib (21 years old), Autumn Jenkins (20 years old), and Destanee Lyles (18 years old) – all young lives cut short by impaired drivers. Their stories are shared in detail on the SAO’s Drive Sober website.

For local residents, the campaign extends an invitation to participate in the “Shop La Plata” event on November 25, 2023. This event, aligned with Small Business Saturday in the Town of La Plata, will provide further access to keychain breathalyzers and information on the initiative.

The SAO’s efforts are a reminder of the serious consequences of impaired driving. The “Drive Sober” campaign not only offers practical solutions like safe rides home but also seeks to foster a community-wide commitment to responsible driving. For more information on the effects of impaired driving and the details of the “Drive Sober” initiative, interested parties can visit the SAO’s website at

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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