As spring draws near, so does spring break, St. Patrick’s Day, and summer vacations. With the promise of warmer weather and celebrations, some law enforcement officials are expressing concern over how people will be celebrating. State and local law enforcement will be out in full force over the coming days to help ensure a safe holiday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office released a statement saying the DWI crackdown will be in full force from Saturday, March 12 and run through Thursday, March 17.
It is not uncommon for law enforcement to turn their attention to underage drinking and adults who sell alcohol to minors. Of course, the concern is that as young people are celebrating time off from school and traveling to vacation destinations around the country, underage drinking will increase substantially. That same concern is often focused on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The overwhelming prevalence of alcohol consumption on that holiday is sparking anti-drunk driving media campaigns across the country. Similar campaigns are focusing on the spring break crowd, trying to dissuade students from driving while intoxicated (DWI) or under the influence (DUI).
Media campaigns are now a commonplace tool to spread the word about the effects of drunk driving. Some organizations highlight the physical dangers while others highlight the potential legal consequences of driving while intoxicated. Many of these awareness campaigns utilize all sorts of media to reach as many drivers as possible.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published marketing tools for police departments, law enforcement agencies, and other organizations to use in helping to curb drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day. These marketing tools include banner ads, posters, radio ads, and TV spots that feature the NHTSA’s national campaign of “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Utilizing St. Patrick’s Day-themed marketing tools could prove to be an effective way to prevent intoxicated driving. According to some of these marketing tools, St. Patrick’s Day can be a deadly holiday because of increases in intoxicated driving. One NHTSA statistic claims that 40% of “all drunk driving deaths between 2006 and 2010 involved a drunk driver during St. Patrick’s Day.” In New York, STOP-DWI is running a St. Patrick’s Day campaign to help prevent drunk driving incidents. STOP-DWI is running its campaign in conjunction with a law enforcement crackdown over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend similar to their Super Bowl weekend DWI crackdown.
In addition to the St. Patrick’s Day DWI/DUI awareness efforts, campaigns focusing on the spring break crowd have been popping up. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has launched a campaign specifically targeting students on spring break. The month-long awareness push called “DWI Hangovers Don’t Go Away” will run throughout March. TxDOT will be pushing the campaign through traditional media channels, such as TV and radio, as well as social media, hoping to get the message about drunk driving out to students. A department spokesman says the operation “highlights the dangers of drinking and driving, and stresses the importance of safe practices like designating a sober driver, which saves lives in the process.” In Texas there was a 23% increase in impaired or intoxicated driving deaths between the 2012 and 2013 spring break periods. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has also kicked up an online campaign targeting students. MADD is hoping their efforts will prevent students from drinking and getting behind the wheel while on spring break.
DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.