Lyft and Budweiser are collaborating on a first-of-its-kind partnership that takes a bold stance against drunk driving.

The two brands are rewarding beer drinkers who #GiveADamn about driving under the influence by offering 5,000 Lyft rides each week through the end of this year.

The “Give a Damn. Don’t Drive Drunk.” initiative started Friday in New York, Colorado, Illinois and Florida on Anheuser-Busch’s seventh annual “Global Beer Responsible Day.”

Here’s how it works: Each Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, Budweiser will share a unique code on its Facebook and Twitter channels, which consumers 21 and over can enter into the Lyft app to claim a $10 free ride credit. This ride credit can be redeemed the following Friday and Saturday, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, designed to be accessed when people are returning home after a night out. The first 5,000 Lyft users to claim these codes each week will have the chance to use them that weekend. This promotion is available to both new and existing Lyft users, and the claim and redemption periods will be extended during certain holidays.

Paige Thelen, Lyft’s communications manager, joined [a]listdaily to discuss why they joined the fight in promoting alcohol responsibility.

What is this partnership designed to accomplish for Lyft?

Budweiser and Lyft are committed to combating the issue of drunk driving by forming a partnership of this magnitude. Nearly 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-related driving accidents each year, accounting for 32 percent of all traffic-related deaths. Directed squarely at reducing drunk driving fatalities and making our roads safer, this is the first time a ridesharing and beverage company have come together to battle drunk driving at this scale.

What kind of a conversation can we expect with the #GiveADamn hashtag? How will you engage with consumers on social media? 

We hope to raise awareness of the issue of drunk driving by encouraging people to share why they #GiveADamn. Lyft will be actively participating in this conversation and sharing information via social handles so people know how to access the free rides from Lyft and Budweiser.

How did you decide on the markets of New York, Colorado, Illinois and Florida for the activation? What is Lyft trying to accomplish in those states?

These states fall on the top lists of states with the most drunk driving-related fatalities. They are also key markets for both Lyft and Budweiser.


Should marketing through social responsibility be a top tactic for ride-hailing services and alcohol brands? Will we be seeing more partnerships between Lyft and beverage companies in the future?

No plans to share today, but we look forward to expanding this partnership with Anheuser-Busch to increase access to reliable late-night rides for people across the country. Drunk driving is an important issue to Lyft, but Lyft is also a solution. With this announcement, Lyft is the first ridesharing company to implement a multi-state, months-long program to directly impact this important issue facing America. This is also the first time a ridesharing and beverage company have come together to battle drunk driving at this scale.

What are you looking for when considering and negotiating logical brand partnerships? What is the “it” factor?

Taking care of our communities is something we truly believe in, and something that we work hard to do every day. Finding partners with shared values and visions is the best way to create a meaningful experience for customers, while also making the partnership work for the business. We apply this thinking to every partner that we work with. At Lyft, we are focused on giving passengers a safe, reliable transportation alternative to driving their own vehicle. And with Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser, we share a strong commitment to making our roads safer. In Anheuser-Busch we found a partner with a shared vision for a better world, and a shared mission to bring people together and reconnect communities.

Everyone loves a good coupon code. How do partnerships help Lyft compete with the likes Uber?

Millions of people rely on Lyft to get home safely after going out with friends. By expanding access to these rides and opening 80,000 free rides between now and the end of the year, we expect to see more rides on the Lyft platform—benefiting passengers, drivers and everyone on the road.

Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan