As part of a special push to increase the number of people who pledge to be a designated driver, the HERO Campaign is teaming up with New Jersey watering holes to offer an incentive.

Those who take the pledge on the campaign's website and download a designated driver membership card can use that card to claim a free, non-alcoholic soft drink at participating bars and taverns.

"The HERO in our campaign is the designated driver who can save lives by giving their friends and family members a safe drive home," said campaign chairman Bill Elliott, who created it after losing his son to a drunk driver in 2000.

"We want to prevent that tragedy from happening to anybody else, and drunk driving tragedies are the most preventable of any crime in America," he said. "We're just saying be wise, be smart and have a safe and sober designated driver before you go out for the evening."

For the past year, the campaign has been trying to recruit 100,000 "heroes" in the New Jersey-New York-Pennsylvania region. They're about a quarter of the way so far, but the summertime is expected to add a boost to the numbers.

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