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QR Codes Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk!

Drinking and driving is a sensitive topic. It’s one thing to be responsible and have fun with a few drinks. It’s another to over-indulge and then get behind the wheel. There is a fine line between the two. 


This coaster, seen at a North Texas restaurant, was created by the Texas Department of Transportation’s program, Choose Your Ride, which addresses drunk driving.

My life was changed because of a drunk driver and I was one of the lucky ones. After being hit by a drunk driver when I was in college, I have never felt the same. I was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic body-wide pain condition. There is not a known cause, but doctors believe it can be triggered by physical trauma. My pain started after the drunk driver hit me, and has never stopped.

According to the MADD website, drunk driving affects each of us somehow. Whether it’s an injury to you or someone you know, or even a death of someone beloved, drunk driving is out of control in the United States. If you have any doubts, simply visit the Faces of Drunk Driving website.

Some interesting statistics from MADD’s website:


This is part of the campaign that TxDOT used during the 2011 Super Bowl, which drew in thousands of visitors for the big game.

So, how can a barcode help? I was at lunch a few weeks back at Jorg’s Café Vienna, in Plano, Texas, and I saw a coaster that featured a QR code. Since I am a breek©, it caught my attention.

When I scanned the QR code with my smart phone, it took me to Choose Your Ride operated by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot). It is a mobile site which gives you multiple transportation options if you’ve over-indulged, in a simple, clickable format.

So, when you’ve had a bit too much, you don’t have too hard of a time navigating the site. TxDOT has used this same QR code strategy on many occasions. They estimate that the site received about 1400 hits during the two weeks before and one week after the 2011 Super Bowl, which was held in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. Even if only one life was saved, the strategy is working.

We’ve all been inundated with QR codes lately, but this is one of the most creative, and practical ways I’ve seen it used. You never know, a QR code may be responsible for saving a few lives. So, the next time you are out having some adult beverages in Texas, simply look for the nifty coaster on the bar for a safe ride home.

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Nicole Holcomb

Product Manager at System ID
Nicole Holcomb literally grew up around labels and printing. Putting that lifetime of knowledge to good use, Nicole helps customers solve the labeling needs of virtually any application in her role as Product Manager for Labels & Supplies at System ID. This creative problem solver unleashes her artistic side by creating customized clipboards and frames for her small craft business (while also daydreaming about being British, an obsession she’s had since her youth!).