Buzzed Driving Prevention


In 2012, deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08+ numbered 10,322 – that’s one person every 51 minutes. That makes it everyone's problem.

It seems that many people were doing their part to put a stop to this completely preventable epidemic.  Alcohol-related traffic fatalities reached a low point in the late 1990s. Research also indicates that 62% of Americans exposed to the now-iconic Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk campaign have personally intervened to stop someone from driving drunk, no doubt saving countless lives.

However, since the late 90's, alcohol-related driving deaths have been steadily increasing.  It seems that though the campaign was very successful, it did not change the behavior of many potential impaired drivers. Many thought the messages to be targeted at overtly drunk drivers, and not them.  When decision time came, they would consider themselves merely "buzzed" and get behind the wheel. 

New PSAs created to address this gap were released in December 2005 with the objective to inspire dialogue and recognition of the dangers of "buzzed" driving and subsequently, to motivate people to stop driving buzzed.  The next installment expanded on this message, equating buzzed driving and drunk driving and demonstrating the devastating consequences that can occur as a result of buzzed driving. The most recent PSAs focus on the financial consequences of driving buzzed, which can cost up to $10,000 in fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates. The overall campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

Campaign History
Beginning in 1992 and for more than 10 years, the campaign produced its highly effective, emotional and memorable "innocent victims" PSAs.  All of these ads feature home video of an actual person who was later killed by a drunk driver.  Many of these spots are still active and can still be seen on television.  This campaign has been part of the Ad Council since 1983.  To learn more about the history of the Drunk Driving campaign, and to view some of the "innocent victims" spots, please visit our Classic Campaigns section.

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