Society

Drunk Driving Message In Mirror Reaches Millions

| by Jordan Smith
Kris CaudillaKris Caudilla

A public service announcement on drunk driving produced by Mothers Against Drunk Driving has reached at least 75 million people around the world (video below).

The ad shows patrons at a bar in Los Angeles going to the bathroom and coming face to face with Kris Caudilla in the mirror, according to NBC News.

Caudilla was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he struck a police officer and killed him while driving under the influence in January 2010.

Caudilla, speaking from prison, begins by making small talk and asks the people what they are drunking. One says whiskey and coke and Caudilla responds, “That’s a good drunk.”

But then he moves on to the serious message, explaining that their isn’t a day that goes by when he does not think about the man he killed.

“I made the choice to drunk. I made the choice to get in the car,” Caudilla says in the video, reports NBC. “You don’t have to make that choice.”

Most patrons respond in shock, and they all reassure Caudilla they had no intention of driving.

Some technical creativity was required to film the ad. Prison officials did not permit Caudilla to speak directly with the people in the bathroom, so his lines were recorded and then played in response to the people’s statements.

Candace Lightner, whose daughter died aged 13 when she was hit by a drunk driver, founded MADD. She said she was convinced to focus this campaign on the perpetrator rather than the victims.

“I said why not because the numbers haven’t shifted, even though more laws have passed and PSAs abound,” Lightner told NBC.

From the mid-1970s until 2012, successive drunk driving campaigns helped reduce the percentage of traffic accidents involving alcohol from 61 percent to 30 percent, The Huffington Post reported.

But in recent years, rates have flattened off.

MADD’s initial goal was to reach 1 million people. But the ad has already far surpassed this, being viewed by 35 million people in the U.S. alone since its release in March. In total, 75 million have seen it internationally.

“We decided let’s go for it and set a goal of reaching 500 million drivers around the world,” Lightner added to NBC. “It’s like there are no boundaries when it comes to language.”

Sources: NBC News, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Daily Mail

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