Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
RADD-affiliated judges evaluate the mocktails on a variety of criteria, including creativity and, of course, taste.

by  Judy Gish
Issue Date: 01/2007

Since drinking and driving don't mix, the bartenders of Universal Citywalk compete to create the best non-alcoholic beverage.

With blenders buzzing, the bartenders of Universal Citywalk competed to produce the best “mocktail,” or non-alcoholic drink, during a campaign kick-off event sponsored by RADD (the acronym for Recording Artists, Actors and Athletes Against Drunk Driving) on December 12.

Although the event was lighthearted, the message was not. “What’s The Plan? Figure it Out” is the organization’s new slogan, meaning that holiday revelers need to plan ahead and know how the issue of driving will be handled BEFORE drinking begins.

RADD has teamed up with a broad coalition of artists, businesses and State agencies (such as Caltrans, Alcoholic Beverage Control, California Highway Patrol and many others) to encourage responsible driving. Part of the new campaign is the offer of various incentives to drivers aged 21 and over who sign up for the RADD Designated Driver’s License. The card, which can be downloaded at, entitles holders to discounts and free merchandise during the six-week holiday driving period. Participating retailers can be identified on the RADD website.

Examples include some of the Citywalk venues involved in the mocktail competition, such as Bubba Gump, Buca Di Beppo, Café Tu Tu Tango, Camacho, Daily Grill, and Shanghai. Participating bars and restaurants will also provide free soft drinks to the designated driver in parties of three or more.

RADD President Erin Meluso applauded all the campaign participants. “Working together, we’ve formed a powerful network to market the benefits and rewards of sober driving,” she said.

Following the bartending competition (event host Café Tu Tu Tango won with its take on a non-alcoholic Mojito), the media interviewed key event participants. District 7 Public Affairs/Media Relations Chief Deborah Harris told a reporter with radio station KFWB that “One more fatality on our roadways is one too many.” She emphasized that safety is Caltrans’ Number One priority, and praised the work that RADD has done in raising driver awareness. “If everyone will do their part in promoting the use of non-drinking designated drivers this holiday season—and always—we will reduce the number of roadway fatalities and injuries in California.”

Public Affairs/Media Relations Chief Deborah Harris speaks with a reporter about the importance of safe driving during the holidays. RADD President Erin Meluso drives home the message: What is the plan? Figure it out. A round of mocktails for the judges. CHP liaison Mark Garrett.