The Perils We Expose Ourselves and Others When Driving While Unable to Do so

Published: 2021-09-29 09:15:09
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Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), is operating a moving vehicle while someone’s “blood alcohol content is above the legal limit” (The Free Dictionary). This limit is the level at which a person cannot drive safely. The legal limit ranges from .08 to .10 (The Free Dictionary). Despite all of the terrible news that we hear today about drunk driving fatalities, since 1991, drunk driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways have decreased 54% (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Yes, this is a good thing that it has decreased but it took such a long time for it to be decreased that much. There is still a lot more work to be done in order to fix this nationwide issue.
According to Responsibility.org, the total alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the year 2015 in the state of Louisiana was at 253 while the nations were at 10, 265. Louisiana makes up 2.46% of the nation’s driving fatalities. Among this, the under age 21 fatalities in 2015 in Louisiana was at 23 while the nations were at 1, 021. Louisiana makes up 2.25% of the nations under age 21 fatalities. As one can see with these stats, it is not just people of the legal age limit that are getting into these fatalities, it is also people under the age of 21, who should not be drinking or buying alcohol at all. “Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes. 1 every 53 minutes. In 2014, 9, 967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. 209 of those were child passengers ages 14 and younger” (Intoxalock).For the people under the age of 18 who were taken into custody for driving under the influence in 2015, in Louisiana, it was at 28 and for the nation, it was at 5, 064. Louisiana makes up .55% of the nation for people under the age of 18 who were taken into custody for driving under the influence. The total number of people driving under the influence in Louisiana in 2015 was 5, 598 and in the nation, was 833, 833. Louisiana makes up .67% of the nation for the total number of people driving under the influence. It is not just fatalities that can hurt people, it could also be their loved ones being arrested for not making the right choice of not drinking and driving. A lot of young people nowadays do not understand the high risk that they take when they decide to drive themselves after a night of drinking. “Teen drivers are 3 times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). For anyone, drinking any type of alcohol can be dangerous but it is more dangerous for teens because their brains are not fully developed yet (Consumer Information).
The drunk driving fatalities since 1991 have been cut in half because the people decided to stand up against it and throw away drinking and driving for good. There are so many people spreading the word about drunk driving now it is making other people realize how dangerous it really is. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in order to keep all of these young people from getting arrested, being injured, dying, having their property damaged, having their license taken away, or having to pay a fine for drunk driving the older people in the state and communities that have experienced this type of fatality before could be great mentors to them. These people need to increase awareness to teens and their parents. It is a good thing to spread awareness mostly to the young people of this nation because if they can get it in their heads that drunk driving is very bad, not just for them but also for other people who are innocent, then that could possibly bring the rates of these fatalities down even more. Another thing that the state can do is strengthen the enforcement of the laws. Yes, some people may try to find a way to get around it but doing so could also scare some people into doing it less or not at all.
Health professionals, schools, or even parents can do alcohol substance tests on the teens a lot more often. Health professionals and schools can also remind the parents to be good role models to their kids, meaning that they need to lead by example with driving safely without alcohol in their systems. Parents can also provide transportation for their teens if they know that they are going to be going out drinking. The parents could go and pick them up if their teen’s designated driver was drinking also or they could just provide them with money for a cab or Uber (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Schools can have seminars with the students to show them videos or plays/acts, such as Sudden Impact, on why they should not drink and drive. Sudden Impact is a program that was “created by State Police and the LSU Level 1 Trauma Center in New Orleans” (Gunn) it was designed to encourage students to make the right driving decisions.
Health professionals, schools, parents, and others can do all that they want and say all that they want to try to get the teens to listen and drive drunk but that does not necessarily mean that they will listen to other people besides their own conscious. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens can choose to not drink and drive, refuse a ride with someone who has been drinking, follow the state laws, wear a seat belt in the vehicle at all times, watch speed limits, and especially never mix using a phone and drinking while driving.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, between the years of 1982 and 2001, 150,000 lives were saved because of the reduced amount of driving after drinking. If this nation could get this number down twice as much that would be a huge accomplishment. People need to stop using alcohol as a thing just to have fun because then they will end up acting ignorant and driving after a night of drinking and then end up hurting someone, or even worse, killing someone. Everyone needs to raise awareness of this issue now before it gets too late.
My campaign will help to identify the problem because of the of the catchy slogan, “Don’t get Slammered because you’re driving Hammered!” A person could interpret this slogan in two different ways. They could see it as meaning do not drink and drive unless you want to be put in the “slammer”, otherwise known as jail. Or they could also see it as meaning do not drink and drive unless you want to be slammed into a tree or telephone pole like in my visual. Another way my campaign will help is by looking at the statistics within the paper itself. There are a lot of statistics from Louisiana and the nation about the fatalities that have happened in the past years, arrests, and underage drunk driving. Also, my campaign will help by looking at the visual. Within the visual, there is the slogan and pictures dealing with drunk driving. For the slogan, all of the words are in a normal white font except for the words “slammered” and “hammered.” These words are all capital letters in a bright red font that looks like splattered blood on the black background. Also in the visual are two pictures. The first picture is of a guy drinking an alcoholic beverage. The second picture is of a red car that is wrapped around a telephone pole sideways. This picture shows the viewers the result of when someone drinks and drives.
My campaign helps to promote a solution to drunk driving because I give specific things that health professionals, schools, parents, and students/teens can do to avoid letting these fatalities happen. For example, one solution that can be used is the event of Sudden Impact. Schools can put this on to show students, faculty/staff, and/or parents what could happen in a drunk driving fatality.
Since my target audience is the teen age group I would like to post my visual on different social media accounts. For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.… I think that posting this on social media would be the best thing to do in order to reach out to teens because that is where most of them spend most of their time. For my radio spot, I took out some important pieces from my paper to construct it. In it, I used the appeal to pathos–emotion, because I think that it could really help people to learn the significance of drunk driving fatalities. The emotional appeal that I used deals with children dying at a very young age because of drunk driving accidents. At the end, I also used my slogan that I came up with so that I could grab people’s attention with something catchy to help them remember that drunk driving is bad driving. The radio spot is about 25 seconds long, so that is why I think that it would be a great idea to air this on a radio station that teens or young people listen to, such as a station with pop or rap music. It is not too long so their attention will not wonder too far from it. Hopefully, this campaign will stand out to teens and make them realize the effects that alcohol can have on people, especially while driving.

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