Sunday, January 2, 2011

City tries to block ‘buzzed’ drivers

City tries to block ‘buzzed’ drivers

Buzzed drivers. Not defined in the article, but it seemingly means something less than being legally intoxicated. Or does it?

Actually, there is no difference between being "buzzed" and being legally intoxicated. The "NHTSA [. . .] found that young men between the ages of 18 and 34 were responsible for the vast majority of drunk-driving accidents. But when asked, these young men made a distinction between being drunk and being buzzed." {ABC: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.]

Another way to look at it - if you think you are buzzed, then you are drunk. But, it seems that this "buzzed" campaign takes away from effort to stop driving while intoxicated.

Frankly, it is difficult to believe that anyone that enters a bar ever believes that his or her drinking will cause a death. No one suspects that of themselves.

Drunk driving speaks more to the potential result - death. Buzzed driving doesn't. It sounds more like an anti-drinking campaign.

Moreover, it is speculative to assume that these banners would have any influence on driving while intoxicated or on alcohol consumption. 

Yes, there are some assumptions that these awareness ads have reduced the number of drunk drivers - but the Ad Council's Drunk Driving Prevention site states: "It seems that though the campaign [Friends don't let ...] was very successful, it did not change the behavior of many potential impaired drivers."

I wonder what is their definition of success?

Rather than assuring that the justice system hammers those guilty of driving under the influence (no distinction between alcohol and drugs) - social engineering (social norming) is a misdirected effort. It is real simple - conduct begets consequences.

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