State troopers stress the importance of sober driving ahead of 4th annual AAA Mocktail Mix-off Friday

A big event is packing a punch while putting a twist on holiday drink options. The AAA Great Pretenders Holiday Mocktail Mix-off is December 7th. It's a free event to sip and socialize and you're invited.

KSFY News hopped into a State Trooper squad car to learn why members of law enforcement are asking you to be a sober driver, this holiday season.

"There's definitely an increase in alcohol consumption during the holidays," State Trooper Kristoff DeKramer said.

State Trooper Kristoff DeKramer and other members of law enforcement will be out in full force, this season.

"We would encourage people to have a good time during the holidays, but if you're going to have a good time and not drink, the better," Trooper DeKramer said.

They know the dangers because they see them first hand all too often.

"It's never a fun time to deliver news that someone has been killed in a motor vehicle crash, or whatever circumstance, but it's even worse when it's during the holidays and family is all together. you have to break that news to the family. it's even worse," DeKramer said.

That's why AAA is hosting its 4th annual Holiday Mix-off in Sioux Falls, Friday. The event is also made possible by Coffea Roasterie & Espresso Bar, Volunteers of America, Dakotas, SD Emergency Medical Services for Children and the SD Office of Highway Safety.

"It showcases how easy it is to have a non-alcohol drink at family gatherings or in a social setting. It's simply to offer a non-alcoholic drink to prevent drunk driving," Office of Highway Safety Spokesman Eric Majeres said. "Contestants come in, live competition, go before judges and winner is determined."

More importantly, the event promotes safety during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

"The whole point is -- have something fun, non-alcoholic, safe for all ages, you can have how many you want, celebration go as long as you want knowing you can be safe when you get back on the road," organizers said.

"If we can less drivers on the road who have not been drinking, that's always a better thing," DeKramer said.

Ten recipes will be chosen to compete at the live event on Friday, December 7th at Coffea Roasterie and Espresso Bar (2318 S Louise Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106). This competition packs a serious punch, CASH! prizes just in time for the holiday shopping season. Win $1000 for 1st Place, $350 for 2nd Place, and $150 for 3rd Place. Contest details and previous recipes can be found at www.mocktailsmixoff.com

KSFY's Courtney Collen will be one of the event judges.