A Sobering Message to Drunk Drivers.
October 17, 2002 2:27 PM   Subscribe

A Sobering Message to Drunk Drivers. "Not everyone who gets hit by a drunk driver dies."
posted by uftheory (39 comments total)
 
Wow.

That is a very brave young woman, in my opinion.
posted by BobFrapples at 2:32 PM on October 17, 2002


I second that. I hope that plastic surgery is an option and that the idiot who caused it has to pay.
posted by Red58 at 2:37 PM on October 17, 2002


Wow. That's rather unforgettable, and I hope (all puns aside) sobering.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 2:41 PM on October 17, 2002


I gotta believe that this type of anti-drunk driving advertising will have more impact than the current stuff does.
posted by schlyer at 2:44 PM on October 17, 2002


Unless they start printing the picture on the side of alcholic beverage labels like a surgeon general's warning, it probably won't have much impact. I'm guessing after your first few drinks and you're midway to drunk you're going to forget about ad campaigns, no matter how good they are.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:46 PM on October 17, 2002


The Austin American Statesman did a really good article on this girl a few months ago.
posted by rlb141 at 2:47 PM on October 17, 2002


I'm guessing after your first few drinks and you're midway to drunk you're going to forget about ad campaigns, no matter how good they are.

True. But hopefully, if there are people still relatively sober around you, they may have been influenced by this campaign and may try to prevent you from doing something stupid. Peer intervention is in general the only effective way to stop people from driving drunk, I think.
posted by gsteff at 2:49 PM on October 17, 2002


It's hard to get past teenagers' it can't happen to me attitudes. The consensus seems to be that further legal restrictions on drinking aren't possible, that punishments are as heavy as they can be, and adult drunk driving has actually declined dramatically from the 1970s. It's the 15-25 age group that's most of the remaining problem.
posted by dhartung at 2:51 PM on October 17, 2002


Absolutely amazing.
posted by McBain at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2002


wow, that is tough to see. I don't know that it will change anyone's mind about driving drunk, but it certainly makes your heart bleed for her. It is always interesting to see how advertising is different in other countries - when I was living in New Zealand a few years ago there was a horrific series of ads against drink driving. I remember thinking that they would never have reached the airwaves in the States.
posted by widdershins at 2:53 PM on October 17, 2002


I don't know anyone who as driven drunk despite having a sober person as part of their group. I agree with Stan Chin, the only way to stop drunk driving is to make alcohol stop impairing judgement, that way when a person is three sheets to the wind, they will be able to make the rational, responsible decision to not drive.
posted by Mushkelley at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2002


Plastic surgery has been an option all along. She's had 40 operations so far, with countless more ahead of her. I can't imagine being in her shoes. The kid in the SUV that hit her car and killed her friends got away (seemingly) without a scratch. He got a fine and a couple years in jail (to be reduced, I'm sure).

I have a friend who hit an old couple, not drinking related, and he felt little or no guilt in it. I hope that the kid who did this has more sympathy.

In all, I applaud the ads. definitely more effective than others I've seen. She's braver than I'd be in her shoes.
posted by Busithoth at 2:59 PM on October 17, 2002


A lot of not driving drunk comes from planning when you are sober. When I am planning to go out, I discuss with my fiance how we plan on getting home before hand. In Boston, it is easy just to take the T, but even when I lived in Minneapolis, we just planned on who was going to drive before anyone started drinking. You avoid the "well I just assumed YOU were driving while I downed those 6 shots of tequila".
posted by McBain at 3:01 PM on October 17, 2002


Wow. What this article (and the Austin followup) left me thinking was that I hope everyone who sees it doesn't "only" think twice, thrice, twelve times before getting behind the wheel or in the car when alcohol's involved.... I ALSO want it to come to mind each and every time we all drive.

Alcohol increases the likelihood of tragedies like this one, but it's not required. Everyday impatience, carelessness, machismo, and plain old stupid radio fiddling or cell phone distraction can accomplish the same thing.

Aggressive drivers--and you know who you are (and ME too)--please flash on this the next time you take that on-ramp, huh? Just because you didn't have a few beers first doesn't mean it couldn't happen to you.
posted by clever sheep at 3:12 PM on October 17, 2002


It's good to be reminded just how fucking easy I have it.

Once again I am reminded that true strength comes from within. Despite how fast I can run a mile, how much weight I can lift, I dont hold a candle to the strength this young lady has. I would be proud to show a glimmer of what she has.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 3:21 PM on October 17, 2002


You're a brave woman, Jacqueline. I was absolutely disgusted by the frat boy interviewed by NPR who said that his friends were making fun of the ad, because they're too immature to deal with such a difficult subject and graphic image.

If a campaign like this doesn't work, I don't think anything will.
posted by gramcracker at 3:26 PM on October 17, 2002


...


thanks uftheory
posted by matteo at 3:33 PM on October 17, 2002


Part of the reason why teenagers are the biggest problem now is partially due to the present restrictions on them, at least that's what I think. Kids are going to drink if they want to drink, I know I wanted to and I did. Fortunately I never drank and drive due to one of my buddies parents encouraging us to drink there if we were going to drink.

Most kids don't have that option though, so they're forced to drive to the local bush for a bush party and then drive back, probably hammered. Kids are forced to go to these extents to drink because they can't be caught drinking. Never mind problems with police, at least in the conservative hell hole I'm living in it is the end of your academic career too. First offence is suspension, by the third offense you're expelled.
posted by substrate at 3:42 PM on October 17, 2002


yesterday 3 young men in a car, clearly under 21, almost ran me off the road, and minutes later ejected a spinning glass beer bottle out the side window.
posted by quonsar at 3:43 PM on October 17, 2002


A very telling moment at the end of the article quotes a college student:

I... felt a little uncomfortable... even being on the road, being over, like, the legal alcohol limit or whatnot."

She felt "a little uncomfortable."

No ad in the world is going to stop people from driving while drunk. Drinking makes you feel good and when you feel good you don't question your own actions.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:59 PM on October 17, 2002


I don't think it's too much to expect people to think before they start drinking. Drinking is not an excuse that absolves you of personal responsibility. Excuse me, but when I feel good I sure as hell continue to question my actions. If you drink so much that you can't or don't, you shouldn't drink because you have a problem. And you sure as hell better not be on the road when people I care about are out there with you. That may sound harsh, but there it is. If you do something that makes you unable to be responsible for yourself or the safety of others, don't do it.

Parents who allow their underage kids to drink in their house or permit it in other locations should be held responsible if their kids hurt someone. They are also morons.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2002


Wow... that's one shocking, heartwrenching image.

I need a drink.
posted by spazzm at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2002


Drunk Driving makes night night driving more dangerous,

"For fatal crashes occurring from midnight to 3:00 a.m., 77 percent involved alcohol.".

MADD statistics show that there are more males drinking and driving than females.
posted by abez at 5:19 PM on October 17, 2002


I used to volunteer in an ER. A boy I knew slightly was brought in after driving drunk and rolling his car across a median strip at 90 mph. He was transferred immediately to a trauma center. He'd broken his neck and was paralyzed from the chest down.

Six months later, he came home from the trauma center and his friends threw a party for him at a local bar. Sometime that night, two clearly drunk friends of his slipped out, right past his wheelchair, and went four-wheeling for an hour.

I couldn't then and cannot now understand why the sight of a close friend in a wheelchair didn't stop them.

Jacqui's strength and will to live amazes me.
posted by swerve at 5:25 PM on October 17, 2002


That's terrible. I hope nothing like that ever happens to me, but if it did, I would hope that I'd be able to carry on and be as brave as this woman. I doubt it though; I doubt it for most people.
posted by GriffX at 5:47 PM on October 17, 2002


When I was in my late teens, driving home from a club (I was underage, so the default designated driver) a kid somewhat younger than myself, drunk, passed out behind the wheel and swerved into my car head on. I broke both arms, my left no longer rotates as a result, broke my ankle, shattered my heel, and crushed both femurs. I was hospitalized for three months, and when I defied the doctors predictions and showed that I would be able to walk again, spent several more months in intensive physical therapy. I still walk with a limp, and have a lot of medical problems related to it several years later.

But, after reading that, I feel physically ill. I am almost overwhelmed with guilt for all the times I sat feeling sorry for myself I feel like an absolute heel for ever whining about how it isn't fair, or moping about with an 'oh poor me' attitude. I'm actually crying now. Mostly for Jacqueline and everything she's been through. Partly because I'm just now realizing how lucky I really am.
posted by Kellydamnit at 5:52 PM on October 17, 2002


Brandon Silvera (sorry, couldn't find a decent link) came to speak to our students recently. Several years ago, Brandon was driving drunk and crashed his car into a tree. He suffered fairly severe brain damage which has mostly effected his motor skills, including his ability to talk. He had to relearn everything. Hearing his ruined voice was, for me, the aural equivalent of seeing Jacqueline's ad. The kid was one of those high school golden boys - he had it all - and he lost it all. As Brandon put it, "losing everything isn't worth a few drinks."

All of my students, as near as I could tell, were moved by his story. Has it kept any of them from drinking or from drinking and driving? I don't know. Probably one or two at least. However, better to get one or two kids to behave responsibly than to not try at all. I will be forwarding this link to our school's counselors. I bet it will have quite an impact. Thanks for the link.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:19 PM on October 17, 2002


I've been following Jackie's story for a while, even before the big Statesman profile of her, because a former co-worker of mine sat on the jury of the trial for the guy who maimed Jackie and killed two others in that accident. He had to sit in the courtroom with her for over a week, hear her testimony, etc. Understandably, the whole experience really shook him up. (They convicted the guy, of course)
posted by tippiedog at 8:37 PM on October 17, 2002


Six months later, he came home from the trauma center and his friends threw a party for him at a local bar.

Does it strike anyone else as a bit off, that the kid was driving drunk, nearly kills himself, becomes a quadriplegic, and his friends throw him a party in a bar??

There is something severely warped about how some people perceive alcohol.
posted by ligeia at 8:45 PM on October 17, 2002


Ligeia, you hit it the nail right on the head.

No long is alcohol percieved as a two or three drink grease to get yourself hooked up at a bar, nor is it viewed as the night cap before bed, or a good way to relax after a tense day at work, or even as a break when working on a difficult home project.

Now people, especially students, view alcohol as a way to get plastered. You know what? I think you're abusing the product if you drink to get drunk.

The message that students need is a refreshing on why you shouldn't drink to the point of total inebriation, period. It's dangerous to your health and the health of others, should your inebriated self choose to do something stupid (and there's more stupid things drunk people can do than just drunk driving -- think guns, for instance).

A keg should serve 200 people, but at the parties I've seen (as a student), a keg usually serves about 50.
posted by shepd at 10:27 PM on October 17, 2002


A keg should serve 200 people, but at the parties I've seen (as a student), a keg usually serves about 50.
15.5 US gallons in a keg (1984 Fluid ounces). Divide by 200, and you're looking at a ten-ounce beer for everyone. If 50 people retire a keg, they're each consuming a little more than three 12-ounce servings. Over the course of an evening , this seems very reasonable.
posted by trharlan at 5:44 AM on October 18, 2002


No ad in the world is going to stop people from driving while drunk. Drinking makes you feel good and when you feel good you don't question your own actions.

I disagree. In my lifetime I've seen drink-driving change from being something that everyone did once in a while to being something that still happens, but is heavily stigmatized. People are truly shocked if you admit to drink-driving. It's just something that isn't done. The people who do it know they're breaking a societal taboo - maybe that's the attraction for them.

This change has come about mainly due to ad campaigns such as this, as well as the lowering of the drink-drive limit. I'd like to see the same thing happen for speeding, racing, driving while tired and other reckless activities, which are just as irresponsible as drink-driving.

The best drink-drive ad campaign I saw was in Australia. It consisted of posters which simply said "if you drink and drive you're a bloody idiot". True enough.
posted by Summer at 6:27 AM on October 18, 2002


When I was a teen (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), we had a program called "Safe Rides", which essentially was a pool of drivers who, if you got plastered, would come drive you home, no questions asked. They handed out little cards with the number on it at the high school and recruited a few of the responsible seniors as drivers.

A quick google tells me there are bits of the program still running, but I wonder if it ever really worked. It was a good concept, but would a kid ever really call?
posted by Karmakaze at 7:43 AM on October 18, 2002


No ad in the world is going to stop people from driving while drunk. Drinking makes you feel good and when you feel good you don't question your own actions.

I disagree. In my lifetime I've seen drink-driving change from being something that everyone did once in a while to being something that still happens, but is heavily stigmatized


So maybe I live in some bizarro world, or maybe I just happen to know a lot of drunks, but it is my experience that few people who go out and drink on saturday night will admit to being drunk-- much less give up their car keys. I'm talking about having a couple of drinks at the bar, wine with dinner, and then some Irish coffee. Or maybe it's a pitcher of margaritas. Or three or four beers. Festive, social drinking that puts you over the limit so that legally you would be driving drunk but you would be outraged if anyone suggested you shouldn't drive.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:36 AM on October 18, 2002


Well, you do live in a different world from me SLoG. No-one I know would contemplate such a thing.
posted by Summer at 8:53 AM on October 18, 2002


gramcracker, anyone: know where I can find a transcript of the interview with the frat boy? Was it a UT student? Some folks I work with are very interested.
posted by whatnot at 8:54 AM on October 18, 2002


"Festive, social drinking that puts you over the limit so that legally you would be driving drunk but you would be outraged if anyone suggested you shouldn't drive."

Well, that's just too damn bad isn't it. I beg your pardon, but people who think and behave this way should have their driving privileges yanked. It is morally incomprehensible and the absolute lowest act of selfishness and irresponsibility to drink and drive. Anyone who witnesses someone doing this has an obligation to take the keys away. If they don't, they are equally responsible for the consequences. It is the same as handing a drunk person a loaded gun.
posted by Woolcott'sKindredGal at 9:50 AM on October 18, 2002


I applaud this ad campaign and think it will help a lot. However, I think that the real solution to drunk driving is better public transportation. I've lived in places with good public transportation and bad/unavailable public transportation and I'll bet that's a major part of the difference between Summer's world and SLoG's. Nobody drives drunk out of malice. It's bad judgement and a desire to get home.
posted by originalname37 at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2002


Where I live there is plenty of transport to get you home at night. No-one considers driving if they know they're even going to have just one glass of beer. But in the UK generally there is a huge HUGE stigma attached to drink-driving.
posted by Summer at 11:17 AM on October 18, 2002


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