12 December 2018

South Africa: Jozi Launches First Ever Drive-Thru Bar, or Does It?

Photo: Supplied
Composite image of patrons at the Drive-Thru Bar on William Nicol drive. The "bar" only serves water and non-alcoholic beverages and was set up to promote awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.

Regular motorists along Johannesburg's busy William Nicol Drive were astonished to see a "drive-thru bar" had popped up on the road on Wednesday morning.

Touted as the hottest new spot in the city, "One on Nicol" promised to deliver drinks to drivers drive-thru style.

On Wednesday morning it was revealed the stunt was a campaign set up by the Association for Alcohol Responsibility and Education (also known as aware.org) to discourage drinking and driving this festive season.

Aware.org partnered with Arrive Alive and the Road Traffic Management Corporation to launch the campaign to get South Africans to think about their drinking habits and thought patterns when getting behind the wheel.

"We have not really made a dent in addressing the issue of drinking and driving," said aware.org's CEO Ingrid Louw.

"We can't expect to do the same thing as previously and expect different results. So we realised that we needed to be bold, we needed to be radical and we needed to get South Africans talking."

Louw and her team managed the campaign's social media account, responding to outraged responses after announcing the launch.

On its Facebook page, many people commented that it was a bad idea.

Patrick Swan wrote: "Looks to me like it's inviting drinking and driving. Hier kom kak." To this, One on Nicol replied: "What is the difference between drinking at a bar and drinking at a pop-up?"

Gray Cescutti commented: "Yay more people drinking and driving...Just what we need..."

Speaking at the campaign launch, Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar expressed his initial outrage after hearing about the drive-thru bar on Tuesday evening.

"We immediately said we would have to implement an action plan," he said.

Minnaar was prepared to deploy 200 officers around the bar in an effort to block it from being launched.

"I was relieved once I was called by Ingrid letting me know that it was actually their event bringing awareness to drinking and driving."

Minnaar added that officers have been deployed across the city to ensure roads are safe from motorists driving under the influence this holiday season.

Source: News24

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