ADOT's "Peas and guac" sign gets national attention

- If you've been out on the road this holiday weekend, then you've probably seen this message up on Arizona Department of Transportation signs: "Drinking and driving go together like peas and guac."  The sign is now getting national attention.

The goal was to simply grab people's attention about a very serious subject and ADOT officials say it has definitely created the buzz they were looking for.

"One of the things we really wanted to do was generate was people talking, people being engaged in this issue with drinking and driving," explained ADOT's Doug Nintzel.

And ADOT did just that with its recent slogan.

Since Wednesday, the sign has been illuminated on the 200 overhead message boards around the state.  The saying is paying off of a New York Times published recipe touting English peas added to guacamole. The internet erupted in disagreement.

"A lot of people are very sensitive about guacamole here in the state of Arizona and it's just one of those fun things that people can have an opinion on, but at the same time if they're engaged in it they are actually thinking about drinking and driving at the same time," said Nintzel.

ADOT sent a tweet with the message and since Wednesday, it's had more than 200 favorites and has been retweeted more than 150 times -- making it one of ADOT's most popular tweets.

"We have a lot of people who have said you know as a result of this my family, my friends, they're not just talking about peas and guac, they're talking about drinking and driving and that's really what we wanted to do," said Nintzel.

Nintzel says the agency likes to use humor to grab people's attention about very serious issues.  

This time, it was a success and couldn't have come at a better time.

"Last year, there were 18 fatalities along Arizona's roadways over the Thanksgiving weekend. Six of those fatalities were alcohol related. So it really makes sense to get people engaged, get them talking about drunk driving, get them talking about designated drivers," said Nintzel.

The slogan will run through the rest of the weekend and the slogan for the Christmas holiday is now in the works.


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