HotSpot Parking has launched a new program designed to help prevent drunk driving in Fredericton.

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HotSpot Parking, which allows people to pay for their parking with their mobile devices, has launched a program to encourage Fredericton motorists who have been drinking to leave their vehicle downtown overnight without the fear of getting a ticket in the morning.

The so-called designated driver feature will cover a HotSpot customer's parking for two hours the morning after a night out to encourage "safer choices," the company said in a statement.

Through research and observation, HotSpot found people didn't want to face expensive parking tickets left on their car if they chose to leave it downtown overnight.

"Here at HotSpot we believe this is a serious issue that must be prevented immediately," the statement said.

HotSpot, which allows people to pay for their parking with their mobile devices, has partnered with MADD Greater Fredericton, NB Liquor and Downtown Fredericton Inc. on the designated driver program.

"This new feature makes it that much easier for Fredericton drivers to make the right choice to not drive when under the influence, which means lives saved and injuries prevented," said Scott Kennie, president of the MADD chapter.

NB Liquor president and CEO Brian Harriman agrees.

"We are pleased to see a local, innovative idea that offers New Brunswickers another simple, responsible alternative to driving impaired," he said.

HotSpot received $90,000 in funding from the provincial government earlier this month to hire six people and expand into international markets.

HotSpot is currently operating in Fredericton, Saint John and Charlottetown, and plans to expand to Moncton and Halifax.